Osteotomy (Jaw Surgery)

Two Weeks Before Surgery:

Do not take any drugs, except those allowed by your doctor, dietary supplements, or herbs for two weeks prior to jaw surgery and one week after surgery. Do not take any drugs with asprin as they may have an undesirable side effects that may affect your surgery (abnormal bleeding and bruising). You may take Tylenol as a substitute for discomfort. For a complete list of drugs and herbs with asprin, please contact our office.

No smoking prior to surgery.

Arrange for accommodations if you live outside the Omaha area.

Make arrangements with your orthodontist to have hooks applied before your one week before surgery office appointment.

One Week Before Surgery:

We will see you in our office one week before your surgery. At this time, we will take x-rays and impressions of your mouth, complete a history and physical, draw labwork, and have you review and sign consents for surgery. If you are a minor, you must have a parent/legal guardian sign the consents for you.

24 Hours Before Surgery:

Do not eat or drink anything after 12 midnight.

Do not take any medications unless cleared by our office.

Bring the following with you the day of surgery:

  • Prescription medication in the original container.
  • Comfortable clothing that zips or buttons up the front.
  • Items needed for your overnight stay.
  • Prescription glasses, if needed
  • Lip balm

Do not wear any eye or facial make-up or contacts.

Leave all valuables at home, including jewelry and handbags, as we cannot be responsible for them.

You may shower and brush your teeth the day of surgery.

General Post-Operative Instructions


Even though you can open your mouth a small amount, you still will not be able to chew for approximately 6-8 weeks. You therefore will be on what we term as a swallowing diet. This means anything that you can swallow without chewing. Anything blended or liquid is acceptable. You may also have any foods that are soft enough or small enough to be mashed between your tongue and teeth without chewing. These things may include any liquids, soups, scrambled eggs, applesauce, pie, cake, ice-cream, yogurt, pasta that is well chopped and small and soft, as well as meat which is ground up fine. High-calorie, high-protein meals are the best with plenty of liquids. This may require eating a small meal 5-6 times a day rather than three large meals.


Weigh yourself when you arrive home and once every 4-5 days following. You should maintain your weight after leaving the hospital!!


Brush and rinse using a small amount of toothpaste and mouthwash. Oral hygiene is the single most important thing you can do to minimize possible infections.


Take it easy the first week. You may resume most of your normal routine after the first week as tolerated. Avoid activities that might cause an injury to the face (athletic like football, basketball, racquetball, weight lifting, etc.). Aerobic exercises may be started after two weeks.


Antibiotics use only the first 4-6 days following surgery.
Pain Medications use only as needed.
Anti-nausea use as instructed and notify doctor if relief is not quickly obtained.


Use medications as instructed.
For mild vomiting or any empty stomach feeling lay in a face down position to allow fluids to drain out of mouth and nose.
Notify the doctor of any nausea problems.


Use nose spray if needed and no more than twice a day.
Use ointment on lips to reduce swelling and avoid drying and chapping.
Sleep with head elevated (2 pillows) the first week then normal elevation after that.

Jaw Surgery Diet

After jaw surgery you are able to open your mouth and to move your jaws. You can still not chew the soft foods because the bones of your jaw must heal in the correct position. You will find some of the following hints useful.

  • Use a cup or glass when eating. Pull the lower lip forward on either side and just pour the contents of the cup into your mouth.
  • Straws are okay to use, but you may find this difficult at first. The reason it is difficult is because your lips may be swollen and with decreased feeling in the upper or lower lip creating a vacuum necessary to use a straw may be difficult. If you can use a straw, it is okay.
  • Take in smaller amounts and eat more frequently, it may be necessary for you to eat 5-6 times a day in order to satisfy your body requirements. Try not to miss any meals.
  • A small, plastic syringe with a piece of rubber tubing or catheter at the tip can be helpful in the feeding process. You may use one of these at the hospital and this may be helpful when you go home from the hospital. These syringes and rubber tubing may be picked up at any pharmacy or drug store and may be quite useful
  • Try to get something fresh every day. A malt or a shake with fresh fruit and a vitamin supplement blended in it is ideal.

During your healing period, you may lose 5-15 pounds. This is because the character of your diet has changed and your appetite may not be what it was prior to surgery. Your appetite will return and this weight you lose will adjust quickly once your dietary intake has normalized. The character of your bowels can also change because of this shift in diet.

Try your favorite food in a blender. Any food can be blendarized to a consistency you can eat through a tube or straw or swallow. Foods may look different, but they still taste the same. Juice, gravy, both, bouillon and milk all work as excellent liquids to thin foods to a consistency you can use.

Use spices to perk up your meals, dill in green bean soup, basil in tomato soup, thyme or dry mustard in your beef dishes, paprika in poultry dishes, cinnamon in fruit. Experiment and find your own favorites.