Thursday, January 17, 2013

Countdown to SARME surgery

It's a brand new year and I'm excited about the challenges that lay ahead - 2013 is certainly going to be a big year of change for me.

Even though I started out on this journey over a year ago (information gathering, getting restorative dental work), my first medical procedure is now a lot closer than I realised.  Of course I have known the date of this surgery for a few months now, but it was always easy to say "the surgery is next year".  Well it's now next year and less than two months away!

I'm booked into Randwick Day Surgery on Monday 11th March at 9am for my SARME surgery and extraction of four teeth.  The surgery will be performed by my Maxillofacial Surgeon, Dr Peter Tsakiris and as the name suggests this will simply be a day surgery.

I mentioned the SARME in my first post and also posted a YouTube video, but here is some further information as to what the surgery involves:

  • A week prior to the procedure my orthodontist will fit a widening device in my mouth just like in the video, allowing me time to become accustomed to it and learn how to speak with it in.   The device pushes against the inside of the upper jaw (a little like a vice) allowing it to move once the procedure has been completed.  
  • The day surgery will involve incisions through my palette basically splitting it in half - of course they will remove the separation device while performing the incisions.  I am also going to have four teeth removed which will assist with the orthodontics later.
  • The device will then be placed back into my mouth (while still under anaesthetic) and they will insert the key and perform some of the widening as part of the surgical procedure.
  • They cannot widen the jaw by the desired amount all at once, so for 3-4 months after surgery I will regularly insert the key into the device myself widening my jaw further.
  • The device will then be removed by my orthodontist and they will allow my mouth a month or so to settle and heal.
  • I will then move onto the second stage which will be braces.

So now I'm getting a little nervous!  Not so much for the anaesthetic or even what they are doing, but just in regards to the rehabilitation, post surgery pain and how I will look afterwards.  My surgeon assures me that the healing time is very quick (only about a week) and the pain is minimal - but I still find that hard to comprehend considering what the surgery involves.  In terms of how I will look, I will be waking up with a lovely gap in between my front teeth.  Of course this gap will grow so I'm bound to look as attractive as a camel.  I feel like getting a neon sign made up now stating 'yes I am having dental work' to save the myriad of questions, stares and comments that are bound to result from this!

Oh well, I just need to keep thinking of the final result after braces and jaw realignment, even though it is still 18 months or so away.

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