Before and After Photos

These photos and X-rays were taken both before and after my double jaw surgery experience. They do a decent job of showing the drastic change that took place on the operating table.

Before the surgery

These X-rays show my bite when I first got braces in 2008 and again two years later when my teeth are aligned. The photos demonstrate what I looked like just before having surgery.

A few things to note here are how poorly my teeth fit together and the fact that my lower jaw extends beyond my top jaw (ie. underbite). I never realized quite how crooked my bite was before the braces worked their magic.

Feb 11, 2008 — I just had braces put on in this X-ray. Notice the underbite!

Feb 11, 2008 — Are you convinced my bite was poor enough to warrant surgery now?

Feb 9, 2010 — This is after wearing braces for two years.

Feb 9, 2010 — I challenge you to try biting an apple, or even a chip, when your front teeth refuse to touch.

Feb 9, 2010 — These photos were taken just before having surgery. Notice the underbite and the awkward smile.

After the surgery

These photos and X-rays show the state of my bite three months after having surgery. A few things to note here:

  • I look much more confident when I smile.
  • My teeth finally fit together like they’re supposed to.
  • Sadly, my molars aren’t touching on the left-hand side of my mouth.
  • Oh, and I have 8 titanium plates permanently holding my skull together… cyborgs unite!


May 10, 2010 — These X-rays were taken three months after surgery. My underbite is no more!

May 10, 2010 — My journey to becoming a robot begins here.

Jun 22, 2010 — I’m still a bit swollen in these photos, but notice how my upper jaw now sits ahead of my lower jaw. As a bonus, my smile is more confident now!

That pretty much sums it up! If you have any questions about jaw surgery, feel free to post them in the comments!

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  1. Hi Graham,
    I have some questions to ask before thinking to take the surgery.
    What I need to do before going to take this surgery? Do I need to wear braces for few years before the surgery? I haven’t meet a doctor yet for my open bites issues because i dont think my parent allow me to undergo this surgery.

    • Yogi, surgeons generally like their patients to wear braces for 1–2 years before the operation. The reason for this is that they need to create a few artificial gaps in your teeth so they have room to cut into your jaw when you go in for the surgery. You’ll likely have to wear braces for 6–12 months following as well.

  2. Hi, I like the results you got. If you don’t mind asking, where and which doctor operated on you and how much would it cost for a non-Canadian resident? I live in the US and looking to get a double jaw surgery for cosmetic reasons, one side of my face is bigger than the other and I’m looking for a symmetrical face. Thank you!!
    You look awesome by the way!

    • Lorençou, my surgeon’s name is Dr. Saranjeev Lahl and you can find his information at his website. I’m not sure of the cost for a non-Canadian citizen as Alberta Healthcare would likely not cover the procedure. You’re welcome to call and ask, though. =)

  3. Hi Graham

    First of all, I just want to say that you have a great writing style. So witty and honest… Refreshing, mildly self deprecating and humourous. Ah-maz-ing 🙂 And very Canadian. Your prolonged popularity attests to all of that.

    I stumbled on your site quite by accident when my surgery was officially booked (one week from today! YIKES!) When I started to read, I was in stitches (bah-dum-bum) and read it aloud to my family. My six year old’s fave part was when you described your post-surgery posterior problems 🙂 At the time I was thinking… “Well, I am only having lower jaw surgery, so I won’t drool like a toddler.” Not so much, I’m afraid… Double jaws and chin for me too. Lucky me! I am nervous and excited at the same time. On a positive note, I am going to take this ‘jawportunity’ to lose my baby weight…. six years later… 🙂 ha ha. I aim to be a late-life supermodel… Hey, a girl can dream, right?

    Thanks for this fantastic blog. I am sure it will become my ‘bible du jour’ when I compare your notes to my own experiences.

    Jaw-struck in PEI,


    • Hello all the way from Alberta, Holly! I’m glad you (and apparently your family, ha!) found reason to smile somewhere in my writing. Perhaps that was always my unintentional goal with this.

      I wish you all the best in your “late-life supermodel” endeavour and look forward to seeing you gracing magazine covers soon!

  4. Well, I went in for my follow up only to get bad news. The screws are loose and my lower jaw has shifted so I have to go back in for surgery again to get that fixed. Not happy at all about it but got my question answered about the swelling while there and it is from the movement of my jaw and screws being loose.

    • Shella, that’s frustrating, isn’t it? I’ve learned that approximately 10% of jaw surgery patients end up with loose screws and need to have them either adjusted or removed. So know that you’re not alone and that others have made it through this same situation with excellent results in the end. =)

  5. Hi Graham

    First of all you look great. I just recently had the surgery on June 12, 2013 and only had the splint in for 4 weeks. I am due to go back and see doc again this coming Tuesday for my 2 month follow up and my jaw on the right side is still swollen. About how long did it take you for the swelling to go away? What did you do to make it go away?

  6. Hi Graham,

    I am glad I found your site. It has helped me alot during this process of jaw surgery. I was wondering if how long you had to wear the transpalatal arch for, if it was comftorable to wear and get used to? I have to wear one too and i just wanted to know some facts before getting it put in. Thanks!

    • See, I had to wear my splint for seven weeks, but that’s the longest of anyone I’ve met. It was not entirely comfortable and made it difficult to eat and maintain proper oral hygiene, but it’s only temporary and I still believe the surgery is well worth the trouble. Just imagine how happy you’ll be the day it comes out!

  7. Hey Graham,I’m 15 right now, turning 16. I happened to stumble upon your blog here, and I must say, it helped me a lot more than some other site. I’m still considering if I should do the surgery or not. I have a under bite, but the doctor said for the surgery, I would have to do a surgery on the top jaw to move it forwards, and if needed they will move my bottom jaw too. Your double jaw surgery was like that right? You said that when you did the surgery, they also moved your nose to make you face more balanced, it doesn’t cost any extra fees? it’s all in the payment for the surgery?. After the surgery and after the painful chapter of your life following the surgery, have you every felt any pains in your jaw where you got your surgery done? cuz my mom was afraid that there might be some pains during seasonal changes or something. And one last thing, I was wondering if you’re awake for the surgery, because its an in mouth surgery,and it’d be kind of scary, to see all the tools and whats happening.
    Haha sorry for the bombard of questions. I’m just really worried. > <

    • Hi Michelle,

      1) I had double jaw surgery, so my top jaw was moved forward and my bottom jaw was moved backward.

      2) Reshaping your nose (and sometimes even your chin) does not cost extra—it’s all rolled into the upfront cost for the operation.

      3) I haven’t experienced any seasonal pain since undergoing the surgery. I’ve been pain-free since approximately two months into my recovery.

      4) You’ll be asleep during the surgery, so you don’t have to worry about seeing, hearing, or feeling anything.

      Good luck with your decision and be positive! =)

  8. Hi Graham,

    I had double jaw surgery back on June 10th and I must say that your site has been the most helpful over the last 9 days. I had both upper and lower in order to correct my very large overbite and where my teeth never touched together and were deviated slightly to the left. I am so thankful to you as I have found that in speaking with my surgeon and orthodontist that they really don’t explain a lot about the recovery. For the first week I honestly thought I would suffocate and still have moments when I start to do things and have to literally count my breaths! I’m still here lol so am getting enough oxygen but boy it is hard sometimes. Then of course because of my face being pretty much “frozen” I have a drooling problem – very embarrassing! I have a question for you that although you and I have had basically opposite things done did you ever feel that your elastics had loosened too much? I find that I wwill wake up at night and find that my jaws are opened quite wide – even to the point I can get my tongue in between my teeth! Maybe these are the spasms you are talking about? Oh I have a splint wired to my top for 5 weeks and then the bottom elasticed to the top. I am to go to the orthodontist week 3 and she will put looser elastics on and then back to the surgeon at 5 weeks to remove my splint. Do you think I should call and have the orthodontist put more elastics on? Also, have you ever been in contact with anyone who still seems to have an overbite after surgery? Oh and I have quite the cuts under my top lip where my posts are cutting it. I can’t feel a thing but should I put some wax on to help or just leave it be where I am so numb? Thanks again for all your blogs and advice!

    • Hi Terry! I remember that feeling of not getting enough oxygen, as well as the delightful drooling phase, all too well. To answer your questions:

      1) I never noticed my elastics feeling “loose,” but if you’re noticing you have too much movement, chances are you do. Give your surgeon a call simply to see what they advise.

      2) Regarding having an overbite after surgery, I also felt like I had an overbite following my operation. You’re only 9 days into recovery at this point, which means your swelling is still masking the true nature of your bite. Give yourself another 4–5 weeks before passing any judgements on yourself.

      3) It’s safe to use wax as often as you like. It can be a huge comfort in these early weeks.

      Stay strong and you’ll feel much better a week from now. =)

  9. Graham, you are awesome to write back so quickly. I am glad to have an idea of a timeframe. Your blog is actually way more helpful than the doctor. We got a lot of comments about it will be hard and you will lose weight but no suggestions and no details. Thanks so much!!

  10. Graham, love your blog. My 15 year old had double jaw done yesterday. Wow, is this a much more involved process then I knew. She is nauseous and in pain 9 out 10 on the pain scale. Please tell me it gets better. It is hard to watch this process so I can’t imagine going through it.

    • Maureen, the first week is the most difficult, for sure. The second week will be a lot less painful, but equally as frustrating. Once these initial two weeks are in the past, however, life will get a lot better for your daughter. I promise it gets better soon! =)

  11. Hey. Just wanted to let you know that your blog has helped me survive the past few days. I had upper, lower and chin done. I never felt my overbite was that bad so I immediately regretted having the surgery because I was not prepared for the recovery. Cue out of character negativity and depression. Today (day 4) is the first day I’m starting to feel a bit better rather than worse. I keep returning to your blog and it makes me smile and reminds me this is temporary. I stopped all meds yesterday (but for occasional nasal spray and the rince) bc I think that was making me feel worse and although I have a headache I think it was the right choice. They were making me nauseous and emotional. I’m still doubting I’m going to say it was worth it but at least I’m starting to contemplate it. Lol. Thanks!

    • Candee, first off, thank you for the kind words. I’m always happy to hear that my experience has provided even just a nugget of hope for someone going through a similar experience. While it’s easy to be emotionally down or regretful during these initial two weeks, try not to make any judgement calls until a couple of months have gone by. You may soon discover you’re really happy you took on the operation. Make sure you’re getting out for walks and appreciating the fresh air each day. =)

  12. Hi Graham,

    I am 25 and in Ontario, I’ve been going back and forth for a long time now about jaw surgery/braces. I am now working full time and have good benefits, after reading through your blog I’ve decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

    My orthodontist told me I’ll get my braces end of next month and have the surgery a year afterwards then wear the braces for another 3-6 months.

    My question is what was originally told to you, I will do this either way however I want to know if realistically they are being optimistic and I should expect this process to take closer to 2 years or more.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience, I think I will do the same just so I don’t go insane not being able to talk for weeks..

    • Caitlin, I wore braces for 2 years prior to surgery and then for 9 months afterwards. However, my teeth were in very poor form beforehand, so I was stuck in braces for longer than most. Your orthodontist’s timeline sounds quite spot on, in my opinion. =)

  13. Hey Graham,

    What’s up?

    Lately i’ve been adding maple syrup I may never go back to solid food!!! (kidding) but it’s pretty good.

    I was wondering how long did you have issues with your nose…like weird bleeding or traces of blood etc. That’s the only issue i’m having right now.

    Thanks bud!

    • Steph, I had trouble with my nose for about 3–4 weeks. It seemed to clear up quite nicely after that. Cheers to being hooked on maple syrup! Go Canada!

  14. Hey Graham,

    I’m from ottawa. Just had surgery exactly a week ago. I’ve been using this site like darn bible! It’s awesome stuff.

    I just want to say to people looking at this site that the 3-4 first days are hell…when i got to day 3 I thought to myself this Graham dude is confused!!! I was ready to fly to EDM…lol…

    I would say to myself there’s no way i’ll have any sort of energy within a couple of weeks. Sure enough when day 4 got around it got better…every day is better. I did find the more active i am the better i feel.

    I’m still swollen like an over-blown balloon but i’m hanging in there!

    If you can get the breathing under control this will change your life!! Hehe…i call it “nose maintenance”.

    I also have a splint and that sucks a little bit it’s quite bigger than i imagine!!! (that’s what she said)

    One a side note magic bullet and peanut butter is your friend…

    Again thanks for the info bud…greatly appreciated!!


    • Woohoo, go Magic Bullet and peanut butter! It’s very abrupt how quickly you begin to feel better, isn’t it, Steph? One day, you cannot breathe, and the next, you’re already drinking from a cup again.

      Glad the first week is now behind you. It only gets better from here!

  15. My daughter age 17 is going for double jaw surgery in 9 days..any tips or suggestions for me to make it easier for her?? We can not wait till summer break as her ins. will be over when she turns 18 at the end of Oct..So we will do what we have to as far as school goes..What is good to put in those smoothie drinks to help her as far as protein and calories..she is very tiny to start with..

    • Hi Dotty,

      The best suggestion I can give is to remind her that the process will all be over in a few months, but the benefits will last for the rest of her life. Make sure she’s thinking positively, has some TV shows to watch, and gets outside for walks at least once per day.

      As for smoothies, you can find the recipe I used in this post.

      All the best!

  16. I just had surgery of the lower jaw and had my mouth wired shut for 6 weeks. I wish I had found this site earlier. Thanks for the information.

  17. It’s been 2 weeks since my double jaw surgery and deviated ceptum correction. Getting pretty tired of liquids all the time. And WOW Canada is nice. I paid $13000 just for my braces and another $15,000 for the surgery- none of it’s covered by the insurance here because they considered it “cosmetic”

    • Yikes, that’s a lot of dinero, Sarah! Maybe you should have faked being a Canadian citizen for a few months just to save money on the operation! I hope your recovery is going well. =)

  18. Graham thank you! I was actually leaning more towards the summer anyways i feel more comfortable knowing ill have adequate time off! Trainng my kid to make fruit smoothis isnt a chore its more training the husband to do anything! LOL… anyways thank you so much for your advice 🙂

  19. Hey Graham it was nice to read a personal surgery about the double surgery! I am having my double jaw surgery next year, finally! Im 26 and have an open and cross bite.. I will also be in Nursing school when i have this surgery so how much time would you suggest to take off before going back? Or maybe I should do it over the summer if possible? My case is unique as it was hard for me to find an orthodontist due to having braces when i was younger and the ortho moving my teeth too fast caused 80% root reabsorption in all my teeth! But i found and ortho and surgeon and were getting on it! Braces Sep 6th this year and surgery the end of next, this will be a chore with 4 kids and school!!!!!

    • Hi Courtney,

      First off, I must say that you are a true warrior! Planning on having jaw surgery with 4 children and being a fulltime student is quite the undertaking!

      I would recommend you have the surgery during the summer break if possible. You’re not going to be able to speak in an understandable fashion for at least 1 month and you won’t have the energy to remain alert through a day of classes for about 3 weeks. I’m not sure if that length of downtime fits with a university course load.

      You’ve still got time to think about it, but that’s my advice: have surgery during your summer break. (And train your kids to make you amazing fruit smoothies, haha!)

  20. That’s great to hear that you have a date booked, Sara! Keep me posted about the first few weeks of your recovery. You’ll be smiling like crazy by the end of the year. Exciting!

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“Over the past several years, I’ve done my best to respond to every comment on this blog, but unfortunately I no longer have the time to do so. If you have questions about jaw surgery and want to connect with others on this journey, please join the Facebook group. Don't worry — it's free!”