Wednesday, January 30, 2013

questioning Dr W

Went to the jaw surgeon's today and asked a ton of questions which I emailed him before the meet.

These were my questions:

  1. At what point of my orthodontic treatment will I have to visit you guys again to confirm exactly what needs to be done during surgery?
  2. About the surgical procedure
    1. Will I have to do other things like genioplasty with my surgery?
    2. Other than my bottom jaw being twisted to one side, Dr Wee also told me that my top jaw/teeth is slanted? I'm not sure what that means, but what will my surgery be like?
    3. Will it be a surgery on the inside of my mouth, or will there be punctures from the outside? I've seen both on jaw surgery blogs I think.
    4. Exactly how many plates and screws and such are we looking at that I will have to put in?
    5. What is our predicted time period of surgery? 2014? Quarter 1/2?
  3. On Aftercare
    1. Will I have to come back often to get them checked after the surgery? Are there need for replacements? What is the after-care like long term?
    2. I understand that there are chances of side-effects of the surgery - including numbness and all. Did I miss anything? 
    3. How are we going to assess nerve things? 
    4. On strange nerve concerns: I'm meeting Dr Wee on Monday for my appointment and will be asking him about my strange sudden "involuntary-jerk bites" that I have experienced a few times in the course of my past month of braces. I don't know if it's because of my braces and whether this affects our surgical plans?
  4. On costs
    1. Will there be extra costs for the screws and plates and all on top of the amount that you quoted me? Did we miss anything?
  5. On medisave and insurance
    1. I've spoken to my insurance agent and she said that it's probably okay because she understands that it's functional, but she will need to be in touch with you to understand what it is. We probably need to be certain what exactly will be done to be able to ascertain the costs right?
    2. For medisave things, what do I have to do to get this cleared? Or is this automatic?
  6. About the nose work:
    1. What exactly does Dr Winston have in mind? How extensive will this procedure be?
    2. How will this procedure affect the costs and the healing process/length of recovery time.

As you can see, having taken his advice to read up on some jaw surgery blogs, I did have a lot of questions after. So it turns out, that genioplasty may have to be an option for me, but I'm not too keen right now for all the work it's going to take. It's a little strange because we spoke about rhinoplasty the last time, and now he advised against it. I honestly didn't want this to become an aesthetic thing...which was exactly why I really didn't want to see the post-surgery mock-up, but I suppose everyone else around me feels like I should be a little more concerned about it.

I dragged my mum along with me for this consultation and she I guess it was wise as she asked the important questions like "What are the side effects and risks involved". I was surprised that there was everything from what I already knew (like numbness, or loss of feeling), to post-surgery bleeding to the point of having to stay overnight in ICU, to blindness! (Although it's a rarity.) I can't imagine going blind for the rest of my life because of a jaw surgery... but I guess in all surgeries there are risks. My surgeon (I shall hereby call him "Dr W", because somehow using the term "my surgeon" is getting a little annoying to me, and somehow sounds proud in a way that I don't quite like) also covered the psychological stuff like how a patient of his wasn't very happy after the surgery because her boss couldn't recognize her. But I suppose I've read enough (and been through a similar experience with my accent) to know that things like that will happen, and that I won't be able to avoid some people saying things like that they preferred the "old you". I'll just have to mentally and emotionally prepare myself, as well as my close loved ones, for such things.

Apparently the braces treatment will be changing my facial features a little due to the movement of my teeth. Wonder what that's going to look like at the end of the year. Maybe I should start documenting.

It's a little bit scary and yet really exciting to imagine all that's going to happen in a year.

Mileage Clocked: 3km (yes! I went to the gym a couple of days ago! :) Gotta run more! I'm running out of time to the marathon!)

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