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 9. Countdown to Surgery


6 Weeks Before Surgery

Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist 5-6 weeks before surgery. The orthodontist will obtain dental models, x-rays, secure the orthodontic brackets, arch wire and place surgical hooks. These surgical hooks are used in the operating room and generally are needed for several months after surgery.


Schedule a dental cleaning with your dentist 4-6 weeks before surgery to make sure the teeth and gums are healthy. Please begin concentrating on good oral care: brushing teeth three times a day and using mouth rinse antigingivitis three times a day. The surgery is inside the mouth, and reducing the amount of bacteria will be important for healing and to prevent infection.


If you are having upper jaw surgery, please begin using a salt water nasal spray three times a day to help keep the nasal passageways clean.


Since eating after surgery will be difficult and you will lose about 5-10 lbs, we encourage you to try various high calorie and protein drinks before surgery so that you can maintain your health after surgery. Also, if you are not currently taking a multivitamin with minerals supplement it is important that you start as soon as possible.


For men with beards and mustache, please shave all facial hair before the upcoming appointments. The facial structures can not be well evaluated while hidden by facial hair.  Additionally it will be messy to eat with food in the hair after surgery.


Items that you should have in your home:
Over-the-Counter Medication
  • Ibuprofen, Motrin or Advil  (for pain or discomfort)

  • Vitamin with mineral supplement

  • Nasal decongestant

  • Salt water nasal spray (nasal congestion/crusting)

Prescription Medication
  • Stronger pain medication containing narcotic

  • Oral Antibiotics

  • Peridex (antibiotic mouth rinse)

Oral Care
  • Tooth brush child size with soft bristles

  • Hydrogen Peroxide 3%

To Treat Swelling
  •   Ice water and wash cloths / frozen bags of peas / commercial cooling products

Nutritional Items and Considerations
  • Blender useful for the first 2 weeks after surgery

  • Supplements such as Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Boost

4 Weeks Before Surgery

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Patel 4−5 weeks before the surgery. Please pick up the dental models from your orthodontist office and bring them to your appointment with Dr. Patel. Do not have your orthodontist mail the dental models. At the 4 week appointment we will obtain all studies and x-rays to plan the surgery. This appointment is very important. If it is missed or delayed, surgery will need to be re-scheduled.


Schedule and appointment with your family doctor, pediatrician or internist 3-4 weeks of surgery.  We will need a clearance from your medical doctor for surgery under general anesthesia for jaw surgery. Please have your medical doctor complete the form and fax it to our office. Please also keep a copy of the form and bring it with you at the 2 weekappointment. This is important to make sure there are no health related problems that may interfere with surgery.

2 Weeks Before Surgery

Schedule an appointment to see the Dr. Patel and our anesthesiologist. Please bring a copy of the clearance form for your medical doctor for us to review. This is a final check before the surgery to make sure you are ready for surgery and to answer any remaining questions you have.

Please do not take any medications that may increase the chance of bleeding during surgery within 4 weeks before surgery (include ibuprofen, advid, motrin like products, herbal medications and the like)

1 Day Before Surgery

You will get a call from the operating room letting you know what time to come in for surgery and when to stop eating the day before surgery. Please take a shower and shampoo your hair. Please wash your face well.

Morning of Surgery

Brush your teeth well before coming for surgery. There should be no food in the mouth.


Take any medications that you normally take for chronic medical conditions with a small sip of water that may be instructed by the anesthesiologist and your medical doctor. Please bring these medications with you to the hospital for our staff to review.


Please try to come 30 minutes ahead of the time you are told to come in. If you arrive late, the operating room reserves the right to cancel and reschedule because of other cases that need to be done.


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