American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Orthognathic Surgery

Jaw Straightening

Orthognathic surgery, or jaw straightening surgery, uses a spectrum of surgical procedures for the jaw and chin to improve both form and function.

What should I expect after jaw surgery?

What should I expect during my jaw surgery recovery?

During your jaw surgery recovery, swelling of the face is the most significant finding, which increases rapidly in the first few days after surgery, then slowly resolves over a period of a month. There may be subtle residual swelling for many months.

You will be given specific instructions that may include rinsing with an antibacterial mouth rinse and continuing a pureed diet. Initial healing may include some bruising and discomfort that can be controlled with pain medication.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
  • When will they be removed?
  • Are stitches removed? When?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

What results should I expect after jaw surgery?

The results of jaw surgery will be long-lasting. While there usually is little pain involved in this surgery, there can be swelling or bruising. Most patients are presentable to the public in 10-14 days. However, it may take a few months before final healing is completed.

While jaw surgery can be expected to correct certain conditions permanently, you will continue to age naturally.

Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

Following your postoperative instructions is essential to the success of your surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.


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