First the teefs. I've been a REALLY bad blogger because I am usually good with posting an update when I get anything with the mouth done, but I didn't do that! D'oh! So, remember when my surgeon said he could work on some of the lumpy scar tissue (from plate removal....as well as the two jaw surgeries before) down the road once it settled? I decided to do it. I was on the fence. It didn't cause me any pain and I wouldn't have considered it stiff. Just a few small pockets that bugged me in terms of touch and I occasionally got food stuck in a few nooks and crannies. Really though, it wasn't a huge deal.....but I did it anyway. I went against my own advice that I give other patients: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I think I got caught up in a little moment of, "but everything with Dr. Karas has gone so well and if he can make these few bumps better, than why not perfect it?" No....no no no no. If another patient had come up to me in my situation and said, "What do you suggest?" I would have told them leave it be. ::sigh:: and I didn't even take my own advice.
I am not sure if I am feeling this because of my own feelings being projected, but I got the feeling my surgeon was kind of, "Ugh...this patient....still? Ugh." Like the guy is never going to get rid of me. It was the first time I felt like he was kind of over it. He didn't say anything in particular to make me feel that way.... just a vibe I got, and again, I could be wrong and totally projecting my own feelings since I felt like an ass for even asking for the scar revision. If he was feeling that way, I think he's totally right and completely justified. Looking back on this now (and even before I got the scar revision...which is part of the reason why I had hesitancy getting it), I think it was a dumb thing to even ask him to do. It didn't need to be done, and I was grasping for him to needlessly try to perfect something that he already has gotten damn near perfect with in every way given what I showed up on his doorstep like. Seriously, I feel like a real asshole after this one, but I can't go back and undo it. I just hope my surgeon doesn't hate me for being THAT patient on this one.
But anyway, I am digressing here ......anywho....so I get the scar revision on my top jaw mid Sept. Again... wowzers...just like plate removal, did I underestimate the pain! I didn't get dead numb for the procedure itself so I felt more of it than I would have liked. I tried so hard to not complain though. I was pretty much stitched second molar to second molar again. It was about 3-4 days of suck, similar to plate removal. I didn't swell as bad, but definitely had noticeable puff and was even a little black and blue. Stitches fell out within the week again. Go back for a follow up and just my luck, we missed the ONLY section on my left that bothered me. I could tell when the stitches were in that they ended right before the little pocket that bothered me the most. Ugh. Oh well. I am not having my surgeon cut in to this again. Not only because I think it's not worth it at this point, but because I feel like an asshat for having even went for all of this on this one. AND it was WAY expensive. Usually I get an estimate before a procedure but didn't get it for this one. I figured it would be similar to plate removal....NOPE. Plate removal was actually LESS than this. Actually, the co-pay for my actual jaw surgery was less than this! Nuts. Almost $1,800. Yep... not making this up. Whatever my surgeon wants I'll pay it, so I am trying to not sweat it but it's just a lot on top of everything else that has gone down for me the last few months..... and lets transition in to all of that.
Now I am really going to go off topic a bit because a lot of this other stuff doesn't have anything to do with my jaw necessarily for once, but I'm going to lay all this out there so you can truly understand how awful the week of recovery was for this scar revision surgery. I can only think of the phrase, "when it rains, it pours." I have been having neck/back issues for a long time and finally got around to doing an MRI. Figured it would be smart to schedule it the day after scar revision and use my down time efficiently to avoid taking more time off of work. Not a smart choice to lay yourself down in an MRI machine, where they don't want you to even swallow if you can avoid it, with oozing stitches from surgery the day before. Not smart at all, but I pulled it off. Get the MRI results back and find out I have a disc bulge at my C3-C4, and a complete rupture/herniation as well as a tear in the disc at my C5-C6. If that wasn't bad enough, they also find a 9mm mass on my thyroid. So, now I'm dealing with scar surgery recovery, getting scheduled with a doc to get the thyroid evaluated, and setting up surgeon consults to get opinions on what needs to be done for the obliterated disc in my neck. To add insult to injury, my chiropractor (who kind of has no business trying to interpret my MRI), tells me he thinks I have another mass on my spine that may be responsible for the disc issues. And that just sent me over the edge. I sat in my car and bawled coming out of the appointment with my chiropractor. Luckily I later found out in my first spine surgeon consult that it is NOT a mass on my spine, and the return on the MRI is the tear in the disc that is flopping out of where it normally is and pushing in to the sack around my spinal chord. Phew. Been in PT for the neck and evaluating surgeon opinions. I am willing to tough this out as much as I can and exhaust all the conservative options, but it's a real possibility this is going to end in spinal fusion surgery. Another surgery.... great! Ugh.
So anyway.... after all of that happened, then it REALLY put the scar revision in to perspective and I apologized to my surgeon and told him I should have never asked him to do the surgery and it was unfair of me to try and perfect something that was already in pretty good shape, all things considered. Hearing you have not one, but two masses in your body (and thankfully that is only one mass now) can really put things in to perspective for you and you realize how insignificant something is. Again, I feel like a real ass for even going for this scar revision. And to add insult to that, overall I feel like not only did this scar revision not make things better..... I feel like it's a little worse off now. Again, I am leaving it be now. This is the bed I made, and I am going to lay in it and quit bugging my surgeon and making more work for him that he doesn't need.
I am not trying to scare people out of scar revision. If your scar is painful for you and/or tight, then by all means get it worked on. If it's just lumpy and bugs you to the touch? Leave it be. That is the cost of doing business when you cut in to all of this delicate tissue.