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Recovery After Surgery

The speed of surgical recovery depends on several factors including age and the extent of surgery. After the surgical procedure you can expect the following during your recovery.

Jaw Movement
Most patients undergoing orthognathic surgery will not have their jaws wired together. This will allow some immediate postoperative jaw function. Light elastics (rubber bands) will be used to help your jaw function in a new bite relationship. Over the first two or three weeks you will see significant improvement in jaw movement. Since the jaws are not wired together this make it much easier to speak, drink, eat, and perform oral hygiene.

For the first few days immediately after surgery your diet will be a very soft or blenderized diet. At approximately 7 days to 2 weeks after surgery your diet will consist of foods such as chopped spaghetti, scrambled eggs, or other soft foods which can be eaten without extensive chewing. At two to six weeks after surgery your diet will progress to foods such as ground beef, small pieces of very soft meat such as flaky fish, and other foods which require some chewing.
In most cases your diet will be near normal after 6 to 8 weeks.

Physical Activity

  • You should limit your activity for four to five days. This usually means staying around the house with minimal activity.
  • At about one week after surgery you may be able to return to some limited activity such as slightly restricted work activity, some school activity, and easy leisure activity. For some patients this may be delayed for up to two weeks depending on the type of surgery and how quickly you recover after surgery.


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