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Orthognathic Surgery


I'm from Morristown, TN, and have went to Dr. Joe Gibson Jr. for my orthodonic work (OD) since I was 5 years old. I have had braces quite a few times, headgear, many retainers, and lots of other OD procedures done in an effort to avoid having the jaw surgery, however this helped retain the protrusion of my lower jaw it still did not allow me get out of having the surgery. I am also missing my upper right lateral so I still have to have something like an implant put in next summer. Getting through the jaw surgery was the major hurdle I had to jump over first.

Knowing from an early age that I would have to have jaw surgery really helped to prepare me for the procudure. It wasn't something that was sprung on me one day and shocked me. I was able to come to terms with the fact and be ready for it mentally. By the time I reached this summer I was even glad about having the procedure. I had started developing complications from my underbite early on in my junior year of high school including frequent migraines and popping jaws. I also was beginning to get frustrated with not being able to bite into a piece of pizza or a hamburger and bite it off cleanly because my teeth did not meet in the front.

Sometime in my junior year of school Dr. Gibson recommended me to an Oral Surgeon (OS), Dr. Stephen Yallorakis out of Kingsport, TN. I have been more than pleased with him and would recommend him to anyone in the area. He's a great person and skilled physician. He's very hands-on, very optimistic, and an excellent surgeon. He made me feel very comfortable before the surgery just talking about everyday things. He was in the room to check on me when he said he would be and anytime I have had a question since I came home, no matter the time or day, he was there to answer it. If you are within an hour or two from Kingsport, TN, however, I would most definitely check into having him as a surgeon.

My surgery was at 1:30 in the afternoon at the Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, TN. I arrived at the hospital at 11 a. m. and began the pre-surgery procedures, which basically involved hooking me up to an IV and adminstering the anesthesia. The stomach tube, breathing tube, and catheter were all put in after I was asleep so I don't remember them being put in and I don't remember the stomach tube coming out.

The surgery only took 3 and a half hours, much to the delight of my parents who had an estimation of 4-6. I was put in a recovery area and then a monitored ''step-down'' type area the day of surgery. The second day I was moved to a regular room once the stomach tube and catheter had been removed. I went home around 3 o'clock on July 24th.

I'm not going into great detail here but if you want to know more details or have more questions about my experience do not hesitate to email me!

Eating is an interesting process. The first few days I had to use a syringe and ended up dribbling it all over myself. Now I'm very handy with a straw and can actually drink from a wider rimmed glass. I have a bite plate between my teeth and am banded tightly together so the things I eat have to be almost like the consistency of water although milkshakes, if not too thick, do work well. Also soup broths and tomato soup have been edible. I quickly discovered that anything that had seeds or fruit pulp would block the openings between my bite plate and teeth and I wasn't able to drink those. Boost, Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast, and things like that are all great to supplement your nutrients. I drink about 3 Boosts a day in order to help maintain my caloric intake and my protein.