Just wanted to post an update now that it’s been 6 weeks since the MMA jaw surgery. You can see an animation of the procedure here. I included a TL:DR at the bottom as well.
I’m going in for jaw surgery tomorrow where they plan to move my upper and lower jaw forward about a centimeter which they say will immediately cure my sleep apnea. My apnea is very severe and even after weight loss and a UPPP I still have 66 interruptions an hour without a cpap.
Although I’ve used a cpap for many years I’ve never been truly comfortable with it and the idea that I’ll be able to go camping or travel without having to lug that thing around is pretty exciting.
The health insurance is going to cover the cost of the procedure so I encourage anyone who would benefit from this type of surgery to look into it.
I’ll post a follow up in a week or two with the results for anyone who might be interested.
Have a good nights sleep everyone!
Day 01 – Post Surgery Upate –
The surgery took about 5 hours and they released me last night. The pain was pretty high initially but today it’s not too bad with all the pain meds and ice packs. My face is swollen so much it’s laughable. They said it takes 6 weeks for the swelling to be reduced by 90%
My nose is bleeding a little and it’s a little congested, but I can still breath through it. The funny part is I’m pretty dizzy which I hear is a pretty common side effect of the surgery.
I have to sleep upright for a couple weeks but I recorded myself last night and didn’t hear any snoring which is great! I won’t know for sure though till I sleep on my back in a couple weeks.
All in all it’s not to bad. The dizzyness is probably worse than the pain right now.
I’ll try to keep updating my progress if you’re interested. Thanks for everyone’s support!
Day 02 – Post Surgery Update –
So everyone warned me that day 2 would be the worst day and they were right. Somehow my face swelled up even more than before – I wouldn’t have thought it was possible.
The pain is manageable but swelling and nasal congestion right now are pretty uncomfortable. I can’t even breath in the nasal spray they gave me. I’m going to take a hot bath tonight since the steam is supposed to help clear up your sinuses.
They said your nose can bleed for up to 7-10 days and so far it hasn’t stopped. It’s just a drop or two every so often but I’ll be glad when it stops and I can breathe through my nose again.
I recorded myself again last night and was disappointed to hear I snored a little. I’m pretty sure it’s just from all the swelling in my tongue and face but I’ll be glad when I’m certain.
Anyway I’m optimistic that I’m slowing getting over the roughest part and I’m hopeful tomorrow will be better.
Good luck all!
Day 03 – Post Surgery Update –
Not much new to report today. My face is still really swollen. They recommend using ice for the first 72 hours after surgery, after which it won’t have much affect apparently, so today is the last day of ice packs. I can’t say I’ll miss them.
Taking a bath is really great for the congestion. I’ve been able to breath through my nose for most of the day. I guess it’s baths for the next couple weeks….
The pain isn’t bad at all. Most of my face is still pretty numb. It’s weird that your face can be itchy and numb at the same time… I’m going to stay on the advil and cut back on everything else except for the antibiotics I think. We’ll see how that goes. I am scheduled to see my doctor in a couple days. I’ll update again afterwards.
Day 21 – Post Surgery Update –
Sorry for the long delayed update. I realized around day 7 that recovery was going to be a slow process and I hate to admit it but I did find myself a little depressed once I came to this realization.
The first week was the hardest, and for me this was because of the nasal congestion (i.e. blood). Your nose drips a lot of blood for the 2 weeks and it’s difficult to breath through your nose at all. After having a cpap for so long the fact that I couldn’t breath through my nose coupled with my swollen tongue caused a bit of anxiety. Now I know why they give you Ativan during recovery, and while I told the doc I didn’t think I would need it when I finally gave in around day 4 and took one it really helped me relax at night.
Sleeping was difficult as well. I spent 19 days sleeping upright on a couch because as soon as I would try to lay down, even elevated, the pressure in my head and nose was too much. I also tried a couple times to use the cpap with the hope that the pressure would keep my nose open and allow me to breath but the pain was too much and I had to give up after an hour.
I hope I’m not discouraging anyone from getting this done with this information. Maybe if I had read up on the recovery more prior to the surgery I would have been a bit more prepared. That said, around day 15 I could breath through my nose, day 18 I could sleep in my bed again, elevated on pillows. I almost cried I was so happy.
I’m still a bit swollen and my face feels pretty tight, but as of this morning I can feel things beginning to change. Talking is a bit easier, my upper lip feels like some of the feeling is coming back and I slept straight through the night on my side. I’ve recorded myself a couple times and I can’t hear and snoring so I don’t think I have any more obstruction which was hard to imagine 3 weeks ago. I plan on getting a sleep test in a few weeks once I’ve healed a bit more to be sure.
Day 42 – Mostly recovered!
Things are much better these days. I’m sleeping great now and I finally packed up the cpap last night since I don’ think I need it anymore which I can hardly believe. The jaw pain which made it hard to sleep is pretty much gone now, along with the tightness in my face. I celebrated Thanksgiving by chewing food! It’s still a bit of a workout and the bites have to be pretty small but I was pretty tired of mushy foods so it’s a welcome change.
There’s still some swelling which they say can take up to 6 months for it to go down and I don’t have feeling in my lower lips, chin or teeth yet, but the feeling in my nose and upper lip is coming back.
All in all, even though it’s been a slow recovery it’s been totally worth it.
TL:DR – Had MMA (double jaw surgery) 6 weeks ago for sleep apnea. Slow recovery and it was harder than expected, but I can chew food now and sleep without the cpap!!! Getting sleep test in a few months to confirm.
I’m happy to answer any questions or offer tips that I’ve learned to help deal with your recovery from the surgery. Have a great holiday and a good night sleep all!