Instructions after Genioplasty and Orthognathic surgery

Perhaps surprisingly these are not particularly painful operations but it is still likely that you will be sore. The discomfort is usually worse for the first few days although it may take a couple of weeks to completely disappear. It is also necessary to make sure that the area heals without any infection and so you will be given intravenous antibiotics whilst you are in hospital. You will be sent home with painkillers and a course of antibiotics.

Immediately after the operation, the jaw and chin area will feel swollen and tight. Swelling and bruising is variable but is generally worse on the second or third day after the operation. The swelling can be reduced by using the ice packs described above and sleeping propped upright for a few days. Most of the swelling should disappear after a fortnight but there is often some subtle swelling that can take several months to disappear although only you and your family are likely to notice this.

With this type of surgery complications are rare, however, it is important that you are aware of some of them.

  • Bleeding – some oozing from the cuts inside your mouth on the night of operation is normal and to be expected. Significant bleeding is very unusual but should it occur it can usually be stopped by applying pressure over the area for at least 10 minutes with a rolled up handkerchief or swab.
  • Numbness – your bottom lip will be numb and tingly after the operation, similar to the sensation after having an injection at the dentist. This numbness may take several months to disappear and in a minority of patients may last for ever.
  • Infection – the small plates and screws that hold your jaw in its new position are usually left in place permanently. Occasionally they can become infected and need to be removed but if this happens it is not normally a problem until several months after surgery. The metal that is used is titanium. A review appointment will be arranged to see your surgeon one week after the procedure.
  • In the weeks following an osteotomy, it is often necessary to put elastic bands on your orthodontic braces to guide your bite into its new position.

A review appointment at the MIC will be made for you approximately one week after surgery.