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Day 2: Early Discharge!

Tue May 22, 2012

Despite looking about as cheerful as Tommy-Lee Jones in that Ameriprise spot, I’m actually pretty happy this morning for a number of reasons:

Surgeon Visit  Dr. Relle stopped by bright & early this morning to do a quick exam and see how I was feeling.  He was impressed that I had already gotten out of bed on my own, and was slurping down breakfast when he arrived.  He was also pleased that my gums and bite were looking spot-on, and that I seemed to have good energy.

Numbness  One of the major risks of MMA surgery is permanent nerve damage to parts of your face.  Specifically, the mandibular nerve that supports sensation in the lips, chin, and lower-cheek area gets traumatized to some extent during the surgery.  I’ve been advised that almost all patients will experience temporary nerve activity in these areas for up to a year, and that approx 10% patients experience some permanent loss.  Mostly this presents as a numb patch in one of these areas that patients generally “get used to” (men have to be more careful shaving in the affected area).

Even though I was concerned about this, for some reason I didn’t think to check my face until this morning.  As it turns out, I have very little numbness:  there’s a dead patch in the left-half of my upper lip, and a patch of partial-sensation on the front of my left cheek to just below my eye.  The rest of my upper lip, as well as my entire lower lip, chin and neck are unaffected!  Dr. Relle commented that I was very much an “outlier case” as far as day 1 recovery and numbness.  Huzzah for beating the curve!

Swelling  As you can tell, I’m a bit more swollen today than I was just after surgery.  This is the general pattern.  Swelling will actually increase over the next 2-3 days, and then begin to decrease.  Dr. Relle seemed satisfied at the level of swelling thus far, and was happy to see I had no abnormal swollen spots.

Early Discharge!  I was originally scheduled to be in the hospital for two days following surgery, but in light of all the good progress, Dr. Relle authorized an early discharge today.   I got home and settled by noon, a mere 30 hours after being admitted to the hospital.  🙂  Now that the worst is behind me, I look forward to charting steady improvements (and maybe an occasional setback) every day going forward.

And now, a nap…

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