Jaw surgery is usually not painful. There is a common misconception that the maxillofacial surgeon will “break your jaw” during maxillofacial surgery.
This misconception makes the entire procedure seem completely invasive and is backed up by thousands of photos of people with bruises and swollen faces after undergoing orthognathic surgery, so it can be hard to believe that so few patients report real pain.
What actually happens in surgery is that your surgeon repositions the maxilla or jaw through small cuts or osteotomies in the bone. Your nerves and muscles will resent the changes made during the surgery, but you will not actually feel any pain as you will be under anesthesia and most of the pain will be gone when the sensation returns to your face.
Regardless, you must remember that pain is not just a physical feeling, it is also emotional. Different patients have different pain thresholds, and there is no way to determine whose threshold is high and who is low. Also, the type of surgery you have (monomaxillary, bimaxillary, complementary procedures, etc.)
After years of experience and feedback from our patients, we have noticed that most report less pain than expected, more varying levels of discomfort, and some people worry within hours and days after the procedure. The nasal and sinus passages swell, preventing air entry. There is also some pain when yawning, sneezing and coughing, or when there are jaw spasms.
It is also important to seek specialists who perform minimally invasive procedures when choosing a surgeon. In addition to the minimally invasive orthognathic surgical techniques specially developed to shorten the operation times, prevent hypersensitivity and reduce post-operative trauma, it is also very important to apply special post-operative care such as cold masks and lymphatic massages.
Remember that all patients take medication to reduce swelling and relieve pain, which in most cases is easily controlled with medication and rest. Generally, patients can return to normal life within two to three weeks after orthognathic surgery.