Luckily yesterday was all good news! He's really happy with how everything is looking right now both on the 1 year jaw side and the aftermath of the hardware removal last week. My stitches have fallen out and incisions healed VERY quickly. I thought this was going to be similar to the jaw surgeries where my stitches took 2-4 weeks to fall out and feel decent like this, but this happened in less than a week. I was pleasantly surprised! Only complaint I have about my incisions is my right side actually feels really smooth and uniform, and the left side is a little bit of a lumpy mess. I know this was now the third time cutting through all this scar tissue and I can probably realistically expect that the incisions probably won't heal as smooth this time, but I for sure need to give whatever lumps are around a long time (like, it can take 8-12 months for scar tissue to work itself out and smooth out a little) before I start really getting worried. It's up in the top crease of my mouth anyway, which is not some place I am feeling around with my tongue or anything so it's not even going to matter probably. Anyway, if that is my main complaint, then that means things over all are going really well. My swelling has come down quite a bit, but I am still quite puffy. The shiner has quickly resolved itself and just a little black/blue remains under my eye(s). I was supposed to take 1 year pictures/records yesterday and we're going to push it off until May when I should be all healed and not looking like a prize fighter from the hardware removal.
Doc mentioned my bones healed beautifully. Usually after a revision he expects some gaps in the osteotomy but he said he didn't even see a single one. AMAZING news since this has seriously weighed on me quite a bit through my healing. After being opened up for revision and so largely non-union 2 years after my first surgery..... I was just worried there could be some biologic factor from me causing that. My surgeon has previously assured me he was pretty confident it was all the twist/torque of the misalignment literally creating a separating force and not allowing those bones to heal right, but you just never know 100% for sure there. He said enough yesterday to reiterate again that he's pretty sure it's 100% to do with the bones being that offset and not allowing them to heal properly the first time. Phew. This is REALLY REALLY good news for me and has lifted the last bit of heavy weight off my chest with all of this. And it's also more evidence and confirmation that my first surgery was just THAT BAD. It's good to get that validation here and there. Still drives me crazy that I don't really get enough of that (hardly any of it really... my surgeon saying something like this is about as much as I get) and I still have closure issues because of it. Anyway, only other thing was that I definitely did hear my surgeon correctly in my anesthesia haze last week-- the top screws were for sure loose. Sounds like he's indeed happy now we went in and go them when we did because you usually end up with infection/abscess around screws that are loose in the bone like that. Phew. Now I feel more justified for saying these bothered me enough that I wanted them gone. Not some crazy patient that complains for nothing. I mean, I am pretty sure he knows me well enough by now to know that if I am complaining about something it means there is something valid and causing the complaint. Overall I am pretty easy going and won't say something unless I absolutely have to.
Last but not least he checked my implant and he's super happy with what is going on there and complimented Dr. Lew's handy work on the crown. He wants me back in May to do our 1 year records and then this was interesting to find out-- I am pretty much going to be a life long patient (or at least for as long as he's here practicing). He said he'd like to see me in May and then maybe another 6 months after that and then yearly after that for the indefinite future. Because of what happened, what was done, what my joints have been through, he wants to keep tabs on me and check my bite and monitor for any possible changes. I for sure don't mind this at all because I am scared to absolute death of idiopathic condylar resorption that can happen to some patients. Some patients are more suseptible than others. I've read literature that mentioned relapse risk may be higher for certain cases, IE: class II open bite may have more relapse occurance vs. straight up class III cases. Since my joints went through the trauma being malpositioned 2 years between surgeries AND I have suspected Ehlers/Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, it's better to keep tabs on me. I'm actually really thankful and touched that he's putting in the time to keep tabs on me. He doesn't have to do that and that extends WAY past his surgeon fees I paid him. Most surgeons release you after 12-18 months. Just another example of the amazing care I've gotten and continue to get the second time around with all of this. I am forever grateful and reminded Dr. Karas yesterday to always please let me known if there is anything I can do for him or his office. Hell, I feel like I owe him my first born or something at this point. For now only thing I can do is offer up whatever I can do for them in terms of letting them freely use my case however they need (for study, teaching, outreach to other patients, etc) and remind them I am available to talk if they want to refer any of their other patients to me if they want to be peer to peer and get the skinny on jaw surgery from somebody who's been through it. I know I was looking for that when I was first pre op and least I can do is make sure I make myself available for others to get that as well.
So that is that. I feel like we're really closing the main chapter on the jaw work with the records they'll take in May and my check ups will be much fewer and farther between after that. Get the vaneer work finished on my front teeth and hopefully ride those bum roots out for as long as possible. I joked with Dr. Karas that as much as I like him and his staff, it would be really nice to not have to be sliced and diced by him for a little while now. He laughed and said for sure lets try to keep those front teeth as long as we can. I'll probably check back in after the vaneer work gets done, but if that is not done before my next appointment in May...... I may actually be quiet on the blog front for a while! I'll still be here. Still checking any contact form submissions and chatting with people who reach out. Kind of nice to getting to a point now where things are calmed down with all of this. I deserve it after the last 4 years of absolute hell!!Idiopathic condylar resorption