For my procedure, I will have both my upper and lower jaws operated on in order to correct my bite. There are a lot of risks with stuff like this, but primarily the big risks are permanent nerve damage and TMJ issues. TMJ issues involve the joint that attaches the lower jaw, which I already have occasional trouble with since the first time I had braces so I figured it can’t get much worse. The permanent nerve damage could be in my face or in my lips or just in part of my face or lips, but this is apparently “rare” for most people, but the risk increases as you get older.
Liquid Diet for 6 Weeks!
Following the surgery I will have to stay on a liquid-only diet for 6 weeks, followed by 6 more weeks of liquids and soft foods only. During the first 6 weeks I’ll have a sort of bite-guard wired to my upper jaw (I think) to force me to adjust to my new bite and all liquids are consumed through a syringe (no cups, no straws). So… it’s probably not going to be much fun.
I worried about nutrition, though, so I have taken time to compile and adjust recipes for the liquid diet to make sure I’m getting enough micro and macro nutrients. I want to give my body the best fighting chance at a full recovery!
Information on Jaw Surgery
I also, like many, scoured the web looking for what other people have done. I found a lot of people who complained of only being able to eat chicken broth or canned Ensure during their liquid diet. I would not survive on that! I decided that when I finish my menu I’m going to put it into a PDF with all my recipes, nutrition info, tips, and FAQs from my work with my surgeon so I can share it with others who may be in the same situation. I am also getting all of my photos, images, and information from my surgeon so I can show just how bad my open-bite got and how the surgery improved it (knock on wood!).
My surgery is going to be a week from tomorrow, on December 13th… I was initially told I’d be ready for surgery in December of LAST YEAR, so it’s been a frustrating journey, and I’m really anxious about having the surgery done now but I’ll be so glad when it’s behind me! I might be stuck on a liquid diet throughout the holidays, but I see it as “temporary discomfort for improved long-term quality of life!”
For anyone that stumbles on this blog post looking for information on jaw surgery, what to expect, or information for help getting through the liquid diet during recovery – stay tuned! I’ll post a link to my site when I finish the page. If you need the info sooner, leave a comment and I’ll email you the information. Thanks!