Brandy's Braces, SARPE, Jaw Surgery Journal

This is my daily journal to my eventual perfect smile and Apnea free life. It logs my surgeries, and daily progress.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Calling All Post Surgery Survivors! HELP!

I see my OS on Tuesday for my pre-surgical consult. I have a few basic questions to ask him, however, I'm sure there are ones I have not even thought about that came up for some of you. Please help me out here. What are some things I need to talk to the Dr. about regarding my surgery? Were there things that came up afterwards that you wished you would've known or asked about? I have asked a couple other people and they gave me some great ones, these are what I have so far. Please feel free to add any in the comments that you think would be note worthy!

What post surgical meds will I be taking? How will they interact with the natural supplement regimen I'm currently following? Can I get my perscriptions now/ahead of time so I have them ready and less to do the day or two before?

Will I have a splint? if so how will it be put in? How long will I have to wear it? Who will take it out? What type of rubber bands will I be wearing, and do you know what the configuration will be so that perhaps I could practice putting them on before surgery?

What if I wake up during surgery? How will you know?

When can I start exercising/ bike riding again after surgery?

Will it be ok to fly 4 weeks after surgery (I have a conference in Vegas I don't want to miss)

How long on liquids before I can switch to soft foods?

How will I keep my teeth clean? and is it ok to use a waterpik on low to clean things out?

I use nasal irrigation daily to keep my sinuses clean and sinus infection free. Can I do this after surgery to help with the stuffiness? What about blowing my nose, what are the rules for that?

Thats all I have for now!


  • At 4:16 PM, Blogger Graham said…

    During surgery your vital signs are monitored the entire time. If you coming into awareness your heart rate would increase or you may move slightly. Your anesthesiologist would adjust your drugs accordingly. For my SARPE I had general but also full strength local as well, so that is an extra layer of protection. For patients who are high risk for awareness, a BIS machine may be used to measure brain waves as another indicator of how deeply you are sleeping. Overall your chances of awareness are extremely low, so don't worry about it.

    The second you wake up start wiggling your toes. Do this continuously for several hours. The nurses will likely keep reminding you to do it. This reduces chance of blood clots.

    When you are in your room post-op, be very careful the first time you decide to sit or stand up. A side effect of the general anesthesia is that it collects in your lungs. You may feel like you have a chest cold. It took me a few days to finally clear it out. The first time I sat up my saturation dropped and I nearly passed out. I layed back down and the nurse put oxygen on me and I felt much better. My second attempt a few hours later was successful. Have someone there with you when your try it.

    Oh, maybe ask if you will have a catheter. Joy of joys. I didn't for SARPE but had to use a urinal a couple of times before I was able to stand up and walk to the bathroom.

  • At 6:15 PM, Anonymous amy said…

    Hi Brandy,
    I didn't forget you girl and will be here to see how your doing and encourage you through surgery.

    Sorry your surgical hooks bother you. I just found them a pain to keep food from getting stuck in them and cleaning them. The rubber bands rubbed the inside of my mouth more than those hooks. I hope they get better for you.

    I know you have a lot of questions, but a lot will depend on your procedures, what your doctor's practice is (more liberal or conservative) and your own body.

    Questions I would ask:
    How long is my surgery?
    Will I have a single room?
    Will I be banded with the ability to remove them later or banded tight for several weeks?
    What has to happen before I am discharged?
    What medications will I be on afterward and what are the side effects? Do any of the supplements I take interfere with these medications?
    Do you have a suggested recipe list or diet list? (most likely provided to you at discharge)
    And of courese post care information - important for your family to have, including a medication schedule.

    Depending on the length of your surgery you may get a cathedar, but the truth is most hospitals don't use them if surgery is under 6 hours. You can't be discharged until you take liquids, pee and walk on your own. Rule of thumb is one night for each jaw, so if your having both you would stay two nights. I was in two with the upper and genio.

    Have the hospital give you stuff if they can. I got the oral peroxide rinse (which is better and safer than using the brown bottle it's minty). I also got syringes so I didn't have to buy anything. Some of those sponges on sticks to help clean and keep my mouth moist, lip balm, etc.

    Your going to do great and come out fine. I just know it. All my best, Amy

  • At 8:24 PM, Anonymous ohmyjaw said…

    Hi Brandy,

    That looks like a pretty good list!

    Here are a few more, in case you haven't thought of them already:

    -How can you get hold of your suegeon any time of day or night, in case you have a problem.

    -I know you mentioned a catheter in a previous post, but are you going to wake up with an NG (naso-gastric) tube?

    -With the rubber bands, will you be able to open your mouth a bit? If so, that will be much easier for eating than being wired!

  • At 6:00 AM, Blogger Mary said…

    Hey Brandy, you got a pretty good list there so far. The only surprise I had after the surgery was that it took much longer to recover than I thought. My surgeon told me I would be out of work for 10 days. And while I did go back to work after 2 weeks, I think that was still too soon. 3 or 4 would have been better. I was also surprised I was able to talk right away. Your list seems quite complete to me. It may turn out that the answers will be different after the surgery than before. You may not know for example how long you have to be in the splint or how tight your rubber bands will be. I was easily able to open my mouth (and more importantly to throw up) after the surgery. At some point I think you will just have to surrender to the process. As the saying goes "the only way out is through." You have every reason to believe it will all go well. And you have so many of us who will be there with you to see you through. Mary

  • At 8:53 AM, Blogger Brandyleigh35 said…

    Thanks for all of these, they are really great questions! Many I would not have thought of but would like to know more about! I will post the answers to them on my blog when I get back from my doctor.

  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger Beneath the stars said…

    Some answers to your questions will depend on how you're healing, so don't fret if your OS gives you vague answers.

    You're going to be a super-patient.

  • At 2:54 PM, Blogger Bill said…

    Holy cow! Even after all the research I did before my surgeries I didn't have half the questions you have now. I'm beginning to think I was blissfully ignorant :)

    I'm going to second what Graham said about wiggling your toes as soon as you wake up. One of the concerns my surgeons had was blood circulation in the lower extremities ... what they ended up doing was placing "sleeves" on both lower legs that inflated and deflated using an air pump. They actually put these on me after they wheeled me into the OR and kept them on me until I showed them that I was able to walk around on my own. The also told me to walk "a lot" during the evening and night after the surgery.

    I also concur with Graham's suggestion to be extremely careful sitting or standing after the surgery ... move slowly because you will become faint or light-headed otherwise. The first time I went to the restroom after my first surgery I tried to go standing up. About 1/2 through I started feeling a bit light-headed so I rang the nurses station using the call button inside the restroom. I remember them asking if everything was alright and me telling them that I felt faint. Next thing I remember is coming to on the floor. Luckily I had finished my business and was decent (and they were there to catch me).


  • At 11:46 PM, Blogger Kristen said…

    Hey Brandy! Yes, you should be able to fly 4 weeks post-op. As a matter of fact, I DID! My OS said it was totally fine.

    For the week or ten days immediately following surgery, do yourself a favor and just go with the flow. Sleep if you feel weak or tired. Drink when you're hungry or thirsty. Let your body take the lead, and don't stress out too much. Think positive thoughts - that really helps! Good luck! :)


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