T Nation

Jaw surgery

Hey guys,
I’ve been reading these forums for a couple months, thanks to all of you for the valuable info you provide. I had a question I hoped somebody might be able to help me with.

I’m going to be getting upper and lower jaw surgery in a little over a week to correct an underbite. For the first week or two, my jaw is going to be rubberbanded shut, and I’m going to be on a soft food diet after that for several more weeks. My question is, what can I do to prevent all my lbm from going bye-bye while I’m recovering? Any advice for getting all the calories in (e.g. supplement recommendations)? How long does it generally take before I’m able to start lifting again? If anybody has gone through this before and has any advice, I’d definitely appreciate it.

Right now I’m 19 years old, 6’3" at ~185 lb w/ approx 9-10% bf. I’ve been on massive eating and following Joel’s maximal size program for the past few weeks in hopes of putting on some more mass pre-surgery.

Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to provide.


As far as the food goes:

Low carb protein shakes with olive oil make some decent Cal P+F meals. Get regular olive oil as the extra virgin stuff adds alot more olive flavor.

For P+C meals you can add pre-cooked white rice to shakes (low carb or not) to bump up the carbs. Can’t guarantee the flavor on this one since I havent yet tried it personally.


Been there done that – when I was about your age (admittedly a long time ago), my jaw was wired shut for 8 weeks after it was broken in a fight. you can liquify almost anything in a blender if you add something to kind of smooth it out – water, olive oil, lowfat mayonnaise, whatever works with what you are liquifying. That way you can get at least some of the flavor that you will want. Today’s protein drinks probably will be a lot better than what I used to get (imagine sucking a liquified hamburger through a straw; I also sucked down a lot of liquid gelatin for protein.) The good news is that you should be able to start exercising shortly after the surgery – wait for the bleeding to stop and the anesthetic to wear off and see how you feel. If they are giving you heavy duty painkillers like Tylenol #3 or any other narcotic, though, I’d stay away from the gym on the “do not operate heavy equipment under the influence” rule.


Been there as well; when I was 18 - which was waaaay back in 1984.

You’re lucky; there were not as many options for maintaining your caloric intake as you have now. Protein powders. Natural peanut butter. Cottage cheese. Ya got a lot of ways to avoid losing LBM. Don’t forget to supplement; I feel this is what helped me from getting “chipmunk” cheeks and bruising after my surgery.

ANYTHING that can be sucked through a straw. I ate a lot of peanut butter and soup. I’m not into dairy; so ice cream was not an option for me.