Q: What exactly was done in the surgical procedure? Was it upper or lower jaw? What was done?
A: My lower jaw was advanced 4 mm. I was in braces for two years and then had the surgery on Feb. 12. It was a bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO) where they bisect the bone, slide it forward on itself and then secure it with three screws on each side. The screws stay in my jaw forever and don't dissolve. I have my X-Rays posted on the site, before and after, as well as an animation of what the surgery involved and actual pictures of someone getting the jaw surgery (very gory, just so you know.)
Q: How far along in recovery would you say you felt "normal" again (little to no swelling or bruising, easier to eat/drink/talk, etc.)?
A: I did a lot of research about homeopathic and natural remedies before the surgery and I feel like those really helped me get the swelling and bruising down fast. My swelling and bruising was pretty much gone after two weeks. If you can get the swelling down quickly post-surgery, it's easier to talk and be understood as well as eat when your jaw is wired shut.
After I had my jaw unwired, I was unable to chew anything - just eat mushy foods, as my muscles were quite weak. At about the six week mark, I was eating most things without problem, though at the 4 month mark, there are still things I can't eat, like fresh veggies and other hard, chewy foods. My surgeon says it will be six months post-surgery before I can eat everything.
*To ask Bella a question about her jaw surgery, email her at smilingbella at gmail dot com or leave a comment on this post. Go ahead: ask away!!