Surgery That Can Change The Face The Most

Jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) is the common way to make changes to the face. There are three main types of orthognathic surgeries: maxilla (upper jaw), mandible (lower jaw), and bi-maxillary osteotomy (both jaws). However, Bi-maxillary Osteotomy is the surgery that changes the face the most.

It is common practice for surgeons to operate on one jaw at a time. On the other hand, bi-maxillary osteotomy involves the simultaneous operation of both jaws. This procedure is aimed at correcting jaw abnormalities and aesthetics. A common issue corrected by Bi-maxillary Osteotomy surgery is abnormal bites caused by a protruding jaw.

Surgeons performing the Bi-maxillary Osteotomy procedure may reposition the lower and upper jaw or remove pieces of jaw bones. The procedure depends entirely on the jaw’s deformity and aims to improve the jaw’s appearance and function.

Who needs a bi-maxillary osteotomy surgery?

Bi-maxillary Osteotomy surgery is mainly performed to address medical sound issues. However, it is also quickly gaining popularity as an effective cosmetic procedure. Some individuals needing this type of surgery are those with physically disrupted characteristics of the jaws and mouth.

Individuals recommended for bi-maxillary osteotomy surgery include:

  • Those with an abnormal long chin or face.
  • Those with a protruding jaw (incorrect jaw size or position).
  • Those with significant malocclusion from skeletal abnormalities.
  • Impaired jaw functions.
  • Severe jaw misalignment.

This procedure can also correct some sleep abnormalities like obstructive sleep apnea. Surgery of both jaws is a risky procedure that guarantees a change of face. Therefore, before opting for the surgery, it is vital to consider the following:

  • Try remedying your condition using non-surgical procedures
  • Smokers should quit smoking.
  • Have a deeper understanding of the risks involved.
  • Have a matured skeletal structure (14- 18 years)

Cost for the Bi-maxillary Osteotomy surgery

According to health CostHelper, patients not covered by insurance might incur a cost ranging between $20,000 and $40,000 for orthognathic surgery. Reports from the medical history of previous patients of the Bi-maxillary Osteotomy procedure show that the surgery costs between $40,000 and $56,000.

However, the cost depends on the hospital you choose, the hospital’s stay-time, and the jaw abnormalities’ severity. It is also worth noting that health insurances offer partial cover of the procedure depending on the patient’s reasons for needing the surgery.

The insurance partially or fully covers patients requiring the surgery for sound medical reasons. Those individuals taking the Bi-maxillary Osteotomy surgery for cosmetic reasons stand a higher chance of being denied coverage by their health insurance. You must first confirm coverage from your insurance company before opting for the surgery procedure.

Bi-maxillary Osteotomy surgery recovery timeline

Patients are expected to spend a standard one to three nights in the hospital immediately after the surgery. Afterward, your hospital stay period will depend on your recovery progress.

After the surgery, expect a swollen face for approximately forty-eight hours. Patients can resume drinking water immediately after but have to wait a day before being able to consume liquid foods.

The attending surgeon who performed your operation is expected to run some X-ray tests of your jaws to ascertain their condition before discharging you. After discharge, you are expected to take a recovery period of three to eight weeks, during which you stay home.

Patients will be scheduled weekly check-up appointments that extend for a few weeks. You can expect to start the second recovery phase six weeks after the surgery. Doctors say that the jawbone can take up to twelve weeks to heal fully.

Some of the after-effects to expect after the surgery are:

  • Pain- which will subside after a couple of weeks.
  • Swelling- which slowly disappears in a couple of weeks.
  • Stiffness- opening the mouth will be a challenge for a few weeks.
  • Numbness- jaw numbness that disappears after a few months.
  • Dry lips.
  • Blocked nose- blocked nose may be accompanied by bloody discharge. Refrain from blowing your nose.

Patients are advised to adhere to the following for a speedy recovery:

  • Take your prescribed medication.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat soft, pureed foods within the first six weeks.
  • Adhere to the doctor’s oral hygiene directions.
  • Refrain from strenuous activities.
  • Keep yourself hydrated.

Risks and side effects

Bi-maxillary Osteotomy surgery is coupled with potential risks. You must consult deeply with your orthodontist before the surgery. Some risks to expect include:

  • Lip numbness

The surgical procedure can result in temporal or permanent lip numbness.

  • Hearing changes

Temporal hearing changes may occur once if there is muscle stretching or swelling from the procedure.

  • Jaw relapse

It is rare for the upper and lower jaws to return to their original position.

  • Jaw fracture

The jaw can get fractured or have a bad split which will require a second surgery to fix.

  • TMJ dysfunction

The procedure may worsen existing or cause TMJ problems.

  • Severe bleeding

This may occur if any vessel is damaged.

  • Need for a second surgery

If the first procedure is not effective, a second one is required.

  • General surgery risks

The procedure can result in regular surgery risks like wound infections or an adverse reaction to general anesthesia.

Alternatives to Bi-maxillary Osteotomy surgery

Specialists and doctors who perform double jaw surgery term it as an invasive surgical procedure that is risky despite it offering promising better appearance. Your orthodontist will suggest alternative treatment options before resulting in the Bi-maxillary Osteotomy surgery.

The type of treatment option varies based on jaw abnormalities. Some of the alternative treatment procedures include:

  • Clear aligners.
  • Mouth guards.
  • Oral splints
  • Botox injections (for TMJ pain).
  • Muscle relaxants (for TMJ disorders).
  • Sleep apnea appliance (mouthpiece).
  • Airway pressure devices.
  • Behavioral therapy for jaw relaxation.


One of the best surgery that can change the face the most is the Bi-maxillary Osteotomy. This is a surgical procedure involving the operation of both jaws simultaneously. This surgery is performed to correct jaw deformities like uneven shape and size and misalignment.

This type of surgery best suits those who wish to have a change of face and are beyond the non-surgical options. However, the procedure is gaining popularity in the cosmetic industry.

You need to extensively consult with your orthodontist before deciding on the surgical procedure because it is packed with its share of risks and side effects.                        

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I’ve been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I’m currently writing for many websites and newspaper. All my ideas come from my very active lifestyle. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. In all my years as computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. I believe that any information should be free, we want to know more every day because we learn everyday. You can contact me on our forum or by email at: [email protected].