I could go on for hours talking about joy. I used to watch TV shows about extreme transformations and anticipated the ultimate result when a person would come before his family, and I rejoiced together with these people. Of course, I didn’t participate in the project on TV, but what I’ve experienced, whenever my face was getting prettier after the surgery when I used to meet my boyfriend, family, relatives, and friends… I will never forget their reactions and compliments!
To all those experiencing this or similar problem, I’d like to advise you to put less commas in places where period sign is needed.
Sigita, what was your life like before surgery?
During my childhood, I didn’t know and didn’t realize that I had and will have problems with occlusion. I ran around, played, smiled – just like all other kids did. I lived in a town where we all were neighbors, friends, acquaintances since childhood, so no one noticed anything suspicious about my face.
Later, when I started growing up, my mandible rapidly grew together with me, and my face was getting increasingly asymmetric. Then my parents took me to the nearest odontologist. We heard that I probably have inherited a malocclusion and proposed a program for wearing plates in the Kaunas city clinic. Since I was at the age period where my wishes and opinions changed several times a day, I didn’t think I’ll feel significant discomfort, and my thoughts about the plates wandered away.
During that period, I started sleeping with my mouth open and began receiving frequent questions about why I bite the food in such a weird way. Not only biting off but also chewing food was a big job to do. I used to avoid any photoshoots, and if I couldn’t avoid them, then I would try to keep my face tense so that I wouldn’t look so asymmetric. I used to observe in the school corridor how boys would push their lower jaws out when passing me by. I won’t pretend – it was a very unpleasant experience. Even though I tried not to pay attention to it, but I still clenched my fists inside.
Have you tried to deal with this problem on your own?
It’s not possible to deal with such problems independently, and you cannot hide your face behind clothes, so, as I’ve already mentioned, I tried to keep my face tense, and then I looked angry, frightened, and… a bit scary.
Have you considered any alternatives? Wherefrom did you learn about this treatment method? What encouraged you to choose this type of treatment?
I don’t think there were many options to choose from If I wanted to achieve excellent results. Of course, I spent several years wearing plates. Getting accustomed to them was hard: inconvenient to wear, speech obstruction, so used to take them out often, also I’ve managed to lose them, and I kept them under the pillow too. I’ve no regrets for wearing them so irresponsibly because I was told in Kaunas city clinics that plates cannot help me, that braces and orthognathic surgeries are needed. Wearing of the plates was over, but the problem remained.
I started searching for clinics in other cities where orthodontists work and might help me to become prettier without surgery, which was mentioned in the Kaunas city clinic. I ran across all cities and clinics hoping for someone to help me, but the answer was always the same: braces will not resolve this situation, orthognathic surgery of the jaws is also needed. I got frightened, and the consultation was finished at this point.
I don’t know why this idea about the surgery frightened me, and I wasn’t willing to learn more about it. Still, even now, I remember a consultation with dr. Irina Aleksakova, who, after looking at my dental models, said I could be helped only by… and gave contacts of maxillofacial surgeon dr. Simonas Grybauskas. She mentioned that the surgeon would explain it all, including why there cannot be only braces installed without doing surgery first… and we’ll meet again after it’s all done, and I’m all glowing with happiness! Perhaps that was the biggest kick, a desire to shine.
Before choosing orthognathic treatment, have you made inquiries about the experiences, opinions of others?
Perhaps I’ll be one of the few who do not run seeking to know how others were doing. I thought that all people are different, and my experience will not be the same as theirs. Moreover, thought about the surgery was also frightening. I was waiting for the meeting during which dr. Simonas Grybauskas explained everything and presented the treatment plan. I trusted and continue to trust him deeply, so there were no doubts left, and I saw no reason to go on looking any further. Later, when the orthognathic surgery was gaining momentum, my curiosity increased, and anticipation of THAT day grew increasingly stronger, I wondered into YouTube to see how it all happens when such problems must be solved. Also, I’ve read the information on the www.orthognathic.lt page for about 20 times. Sometimes I think, that now when I’m “”done with it all,”” I show more interest in other people – how are they doing and what their experiences are.
Did you need support from your relatives or friends? What was their reaction like when they learned that you decided to have surgery?
Yes. It’s always good to know that you have a supporting team. It would be a fact – if my parents had not supported me, including financially, my surgery would have been moved away because I would’ve had to save the money for it by myself. Even before the surgery, I always thought that HAPPINESS love silence, so I made no announcements about it. Everyone who was supposed to know they were informed, while others thought that I’d just have to wear braces for some time. So, life to all of us was simpler, easier, and nobody wondered what I’m up to.
Of course, as time went by, it all came to surface, I had several procedures done to me, such as extraction of wisdom teeth, installation of Bollard implants, and the mandible became even more protruded. It was provided in the treatment plan during preparation for the surgery phase; naturally, it seemed weird to those around me. I received various reactions from others, but when someone attempted to dissuade me from doing it, I would get furious because it was my choice, my DREAM!
What are your memories of the treatment process?
Since no one told me that it would be fast, simple, and easy, I expected nothing of the sort. Of course, for me, just like for others, anticipation and preparation seemed very long, that it will last longer, and it’s not clear when will it all end. Now, as I recall it, it makes me smile because it didn’t last for eternity and, as weird as can be, I’m still very young – I’m 23 years old.
At the beginning of treatment, we learned about the approximate duration of the treatment, but it’s hard to predict what surprises a life could bring forth – an illness, virus, journeys, employment or studies. So, we aren’t protected, and there could be changes regarding time. Not falling sick was most important to me. I was scared that surgery might be postponed for this reason. However, many things happened… Back then, it was challenging to come to terms with the fact that the flu struck me on the last day before the surgery… Everyone suffers from such things, so it shouldn’t be forgotten that it’s not only the patient who needs patience, but also orthodontists, Simonas, and his team!
I could go on for hours talking about joy. I used to watch TV shows about extreme transformations and anticipated the ultimate result when a person would come before his family, and I rejoiced together with these people. Of course, I didn’t participate in the project on TV, but what I’ve experienced, whenever my face was getting prettier after the surgery when I used to meet my boyfriend, family, relatives, and friends… I will never forget their reactions and compliments! It’s an awesome feeling even now, after nine months after the surgery, my eyes fill with tears of joy each time I remember it. My final part of the TV show has already happened – I DID IT!
In your opinion, what is critically important when deciding and choosing orthognathic treatment? What would you advise other people who encounter a similar situation?
In my opinion, deciding is the most challenging part. Dr. Simonas Grybauskas and his team are professionals in their field, and we become a part of their team. Faith, endless desire, and patience are inseparable when choosing treatment; however, the post-operative period is experienced differently by each person, so it’s hard to define it. It would be silly to think that it will be a smooth ride; however, the full explanation is provided, and you always feel the support and care from Simonas and his team.
If I could turn back time, I would have spent less time running around all cities, so to all those experiencing this or similar problem, and I’d like to advise you to put fewer commas in places where a period sign is needed. I hope and believe that you’ll end up glowing with happiness just like I do!
How did your life change after the treatment?
I jokingly say that I feel like I’m born again! Kind words substituted caustic remarks; I no longer need to be afraid of chewing in the wrong way, no need to hide from the camera. For me, everything turned upside down. My job, which requires lots of communication, has become far more pleasant. I’m very happy!
Orthognathic treatment always includes the joint work of doctor orthodontist and surgeon’s team. The team of Dr. Simonas Grybauskas would like to express gratitude to orthodontist dr. Dalia Latkauskienė for collaboration. Such treatment results were accomplished by courtesy of her.