Read more about Jaw Surgery in our Procedures section
Orthognathic (reconstructive) Jaw Surgery is a major surgical procedure and requires a hospital stay of 3 to 4 days. During this time, you will be cared for by dedicated nursing and medical staff and kept comfortable with appropriate and effective pain relief, antibiotics and close monitoring.
All jaw surgery patients will be aware that the first week of surgery is uncomfortable but manageable. Dr Chahoud will visit you every day for the duration of your stay in hospital and see you in his clinic once a week for four weeks.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. During the first two weeks, you will experience swelling around the cheeks, lower jaw and nose. Some bruising and swelling is normal and depends on the individual.
To minimize swelling, ice packs will be applied to your face in the area of surgery for 2-3 days. You will be nursed with your head propped up on two pillows to reduce the swelling.
While you are in hospital you will be given antibiotics intravenously (through a “drip”). Dr Chahoud will have prescribed appropriate oral antibiotic cover for when you are discharged from hospital and this will be dispensed by the pharmacy on the day you leave. Should you experience a rash, persistent nausea or other side effects, cease all medications and contact Dr Chahoud’s rooms immediately.
During your time in hospital pain relief will be given to you intravenously or by tablet. Dr Chahoud will have prescribed appropriate pain relief for when you are discharged from hospital and this will be dispensed by the hospital pharmacy on the day you leave. For moderate pain, use milder pain medications such as Panadol or Nurofen (no script necessary), reserving the stronger medications for night time if needed.
Mouth Rinse and Oral Care
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. While you re in hospital you will begin gentle tooth brushing and rinsing the day after surgery with dilute Savacol mouth wash which the hospital will provide.. Rinse 3 times daily after meals and continue for up to one week after surgery.
Stitches will dissolve or come away approximately 5 to 12 days after surgery.
Immediately after surgery you will be given clear fluids to drink overnight (broth, apple juice). The next day, depending on your progress, you will have thickened fluids (custard, yoghurt). On day three, your diet will consist of soft, solid foods with plenty of fluids (scrambled eggs, fish, mashed vegetables and yogurt). A soft diet is recommended until your mouth feels comfortable. Eating regularly is very important to avoid nausea caused by the medications.
Please note that you will take 12 weeks for the bone to heal completely. During this period, contact sport is prohibited. It is expected that you will return to work 2-4 weeks following surgery depending on your commitments.
During the first week, we encourage walking inside the house only. Light headedness is normal during the first week. Keep your head elevated 30 degrees during this period. Periodic icing to the face may make you more comfortable.