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Preparing for Orthognathic Surgery

Pre-admission assessment

You will be referred to the Pre-Admission Centre (PAC) at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for pre-surgery counselling, risk assessment and health optimisation.

Quit SmokingAvoiding smoking

Smoking is detrimental to your health. It has also been shown to be associated with an increased risk of infection and poorer healing after surgery. There is also an increased risk of anaesthesia related complications if you smoke.

If you have yet to quit smoking prior to the surgery, it is important to refrain from smoking in the period leading up to the surgery and in the post-operative recovery period.

You can find out more about smoking cessation services in SGH through the following:
• Hotline: (65) 6326 5361
• Email:

Keeping fit and healthy

It is important to keep yourself healthy in the weeks leading up to your surgery. This includes optimisation of any systemic conditions you may have by attending the preadmission assessment and being compliant with any medication prescribed for chronic conditions/ lifestyle modifications advised.

It is also important to stay active, ensure you obtain adequate rest, stay well hydrated and maintain a healthy diet. This is to boost your immunity to avoid falling sick prior to the surgery.

Ensuring good oral hygiene

It is important to keep good oral hygiene prior to and after the surgery to reduce the risk of infection.

What to expect for your hospital stay

Duration of hospitalisation

Patients undergoing Orthognathic Surgery are typically hospitalised for 2-3 days. This can vary depending on your speed of recovery. Most patients undergoing jaw surgery will be monitored in the Surgical High Dependency ward/ Intensive Care Unit overnight after surgery.

Intermaxillary fixation (IMF)

After surgery your teeth will be tied together with elastics (dental rubber bands) for up to 2 weeks.
You will not be able to open your mouth and will experience difficulties in speaking.

Diet after surgery

  • You will be placed on a liquid diet for about 2 weeks.
  • You will progress on to a pureed (blended) diet, then to a soft diet, gradually returning to a normal diet after 6 months.

Side effects of surgery

  • Swelling of the cheeks/ face/ lips can be substantial  immediately after the surgery. Most of this swelling resolves around 2-3 weeks after the surgery.
  • Temporary bruising of the face, usually around the lower jaws.
  • Temporary restriction in mouth opening after surgery.
  • Some weight loss is expected (due to being kept on a liquid diet).
  • Some widening of the base of the nose can be expected after upper jaw surgery.


  • You will be covered with hospitalisation leave for approximately 4-6 weeks.
  • During the recovery period, you will be encouraged to move around but should avoid strenuous physical activity for at least 6 weeks.
  • You will be advised by your surgeon and orthodontist when you can continue with your braces to adjust the final position of your teeth.