Maxillofacial Surgery Summary

Maxillofacial Surgery is a grouped term that refers to any surgery on the mouth, jaw or neck. It is used to treat injury, birth defects and even severely impacted wisdom teeth. The surgery is performed by a specialist called a maxillofacial surgeon whom has special training in this field.

Patients who may need maxillofacial surgery:

  • Cancer patients
  • Those with facial tumor
  • Accident victims
  • People with cleft palate
  • People born with facial deformity
  • People with nerve damage
  • Those with severe orthodontic issues
  • Those with severe gum disease

Length of the procedure: Varies depending on the procedure

Hospital Stay: Patients are released from care the same day for many of these procedures, occasionally a brief hospital stay may be required.

Recovery before traveling home: Patients seeking a maxillofacial surgery through medical tourism can return home 48 hours after their procedure in most cases.

Travel Tip: It is best to plan a week stay after maxillofacial surgery. This will allow for proper post operative care.

Procedure Details

The procedure will begin with the administration of general anesthesia or sedative to relax or put you to sleep. The surgeon will make the necessary corrections to your face, jaw, mouth or neck. This may include realignment of bones, setting of bones with pins or plates, and extraction of teeth. Tissue may also be removed or grafted.

After the Procedure

After your maxillofacial surgery you will be moved to a recovery area to be monitored. The nursing staff will carefully monitor your vital signs during this time. When you have recovered from your anesthesia or sedative the staff will release you from care or they will move you to a regular hospital room for continued care.

You may have a dressing covering your surgical wound. Keep this dressing on until your doctor says you can remove it. Follow all instructions for eating, drinking and oral hygiene very carefully during the recovery process.

Side Effects of maxillofacial surgery:
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
Self care after maxillofacial surgery:
  • No smoking for 3 days
  • Ice for swelling and discomfort
  • Take pain medication as prescribed
  • Avoid eating hot food, spicy food or acidic food
  • Avoid using a straw
  • No spitting


Most people begin to feel better within 6 weeks of maxillofacial surgery. However the entire healing process may take up to 12 months for some people. Additionally, some patients may require more than one maxillofacial surgery to treat the problem they are experiencing. Once all the surgical procedures are complete, and healing is complete the results of maxillofacial surgery are quite favorable.

Risks and Complications

As is with any procedure there are risks associated with maxillofacial surgery. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:

  • Reaction to anesthetic or medication
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of surgical wound
  • Breathing problems
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Blood clot
  • Bed Sore
Contact your physician if any of the following occur:
  • Bleeding restarts or continues after 24 hours
  • Swelling reoccurs or is excessive
  • Excessive nausea or vomiting
  • Sutures come apart
  • Pain is excessive and uncontrolled by medication
  • Fever 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Chills