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Any facial changes a year post-op?
Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:12 pm
So I got my surgery last November (one week before Thanksgiving, which was a terrible choice. I definitely cried when I wasn't able to eat). Upper jaw advancement a few millimeters, lower jaw brought back by one or two, and both jaws tilted slightly.
Here I am ten months post op, still with braces on. My orthodontist is an absolute perfectionist and has said that if I was past my original estimated treatment completion time (November) he would take my braces off because my teeth look good enough right now, but he's going to wait to make sure they're perfect, which is unbelievably frustrating.
But anyway, I'm starting to worry about how my face looks. The surgery really fixed the issues I originally had, but now my cheeks look much chubbier--almost like I'm still swollen. I won't realize it and then I'll catch my face in the mirror or in a picture and I look like I did two months post op. Could this be residual swelling? Could it be thanks to the braces? Is this just how my face is now?
I'm really not a fan--I recognize that my face looked hollower and thinner before surgery because of my under developed upper jaw, but now it looks fat, not full. Like, my cheeks seem to bulge.
Additionally, my lips feel like they protrude a bit, and it makes my smile look weird. This is more than likely the braces, but it's still frustrating when I catch my reflection and it looks bizarre and clownish.
So my question is, when you got your braces off and your ordeal was finally finished, did you notice any final changes in your face/smile? Or was your face pretty much set at 6-8 months?
Re: Any facial changes a year post-op?
Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:21 pm
Hahaha! Oh my god I feel you! I had surgery 3 months ago and I look different in pictures. I used to angle my face a certain way to take pictures cause I had a really strong jaw on one side and a weak on the other, but now that I have symmetry (though I wanted that) I look completely different and they instinctive way I take pictures doesn't really look good now. I think any change to the facial bones will cause a big change, but also a mental adjustment to now learn the face you have now. As far as swelling goes, I heard most people really fully healed from jaw surgery around a year. That means residual swelling, any numbness, joint point, or stiffness. Also a thing to maybe consider is weight loss. I lost so much weight after my surgery that my face looked so much bigger on my body than before. As I slowly gain back to a healthier fuller weight, I find that it matches better. And yes, braces also causes a bulge around the lips naturally cause its like having a second set of teeth in front of your natural ones. From what I've heard upper jaw surgery changes the face SO much. My orthodontist said he used to have to council wives of patients who would feel like their husbands didn't look like their husbands anymore after surgery - and not in a bad way it's just an adjustment. If you barely had a maxilla before, you most likely benefited from this change, though it may be hard to be objective about it. Upper jaw surgery always creates better facial balance, fuller cheeks, and good profiles. If your bite is fine, you have no numbness, and all you are worrying about at this point is swelling... be thankful! Swelling goes away.
Re: Any facial changes a year post-op?
Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:17 pm
So maybe this is less helpful given that I haven't had my surgery yet, but if it's any consolation, I've been reading a large number of blogs that offer detailed photo diaries (or at least regular commentary on facial changes) and it does seem that around the 1 year mark is when many people felt that their face was pretty much "set," and they were getting comfortable with their smile and appearance. After reading about others' experience, I'm reassured that the surgery will be worth it for me in the end and that the end result won't look foreign after a while. I hope this is the case for you - remember, you passed the hardest part, congrats! Things will only get better for you going forward as you "settle" into your new appearance. Of course, I'm sure the large number of experienced individuals in this forum can offer better perspective.