Cheekbone Reduction Recovery

Q: Dr. Eppley, I messaged you about my jaw and cheekbone reduction enquiries not too long ago. I’m still early in the cheekbone reduction recovery stage but I was wondering about something else.

My doctor said it is good to practice opening my mouth as wide as I can after surgery. It’s barely been the start to my second month of recovery and I can open my mouth to fit two fingers.

However, I’m reading online that extensive mouth opening should be avoided for the first few months as the masseter muscle can pull down the zygoma body even if it’s fixated. Is it possible that I’ve done some damage to the fixation due to pushing myself to open my mouth widely every day?

A: My first suggestion is that you follow the instructions provided by your surgeon who you trusted to perform the operation rather than online commentaries of unknown expertise and experience. That being said, at this point in your cheekbone reduction recovery you should be working on getting your jaw opening rehabilitated back to normal. There is little concern about bony displacement with plate fixation, early after surgery or months later. Stretching your mouth open should be done freely at this point in your recovery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana