Chinderella – it’s an orthognathic fairytale, you see.

What is, I mean was, wrong with me? LeFort I maxillary osteotomy and Bilateral sagittal split osteotomy. The details.

My mum and I

People of Blogland, hello! Above is an incredibly rare picture of my delicate profile. You must be special; enjoy.

I’m 35 and live in London. I teach languages (French and Spanish) in a secondary school.

  • February 1998: I learn from a new dentist that no, I don’t have a big chin, I have a jaw malformation. This makes me feel better. Then after meeting a surgeon and otho, I realise that doing something about it means surgery – duh- but also 2 years of braces. I’ve just started to teach in a secondary school and braces would be too much; I go home crying and convince myself to give up on the idea.
  • July 2006: The kids in school are lovely and I don’t care about the braces. I take a deep breath and get a quote in London : £5000 for braces, £10000 for surgery. I go home crying.
  • January 2007 : It hits me: I live an hour and a half from Lille on the eurostar; I speak French, hey, I even have a French passport! I can hop on the train and get treatment in Lille for £2500 for the braces, and something ridiculously low for the surgery. I’d tell you, but it’d make you feel sick..
  • February 2007: braces installed, surgeon picked, diagnosis made: upper and lower jaw surgery planned for the summer of 2008.
  • March 2008: teeth are coming together nicely, thank you. New diagnosis by new surgeon – I wanted to make sure the first one had got it right. and hey! I might only need upper jaw surgery after all.
  • Surgery date is scheduled for June, 13th, 2008. It’s a Friday. The 13th. Nevermind.

It’s all a great big adventure that bores my friends and family to tears. Some friends more than others.

Update : Surgery performed in Lille, June 10th 2008. Both jaws, lower and upper after all. I now have two months to deflate, then learn to eat and speak again. yay!



  1. Well done! I like the timeline. So glad you did it! I paid about £15,000 for the whole thing (braces + surgery), WITH insurance, mind you. But this is America after all, the country depicted by Michale Moore’s movie, SiCKO. At least I’m happy with the results!

    Comment by Kristen — June 20, 2008 @ 5:16 am | Reply

  2. Oh my goodness, I knew it was bad – I keep remembering your comment of ‘ I’m wearing a very nice car on my teeth’… Well, it was worth it.:-)

    Comment by chinderella — June 22, 2008 @ 11:37 am | Reply

  3. Mine will be about the same as Kristen’s I think =( Or perhaps not – I see she translated into pounds. My first quote for braces was about $8500, but that ortho was in a posh suburb. I ended up paying $6400. Not sure about the surgery yet. My out-of-pocket maximum for the year is $8000, so if the insurance covers both jaws it can’t be more than that. Otherwise it’s $10,000 per jaw. o.O

    Now that I think about it, I should’ve gone back to Canada for this. I think the surgery would be free there, as long as I lived there for 6 months first.

    Comment by Laura — June 30, 2008 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

  4. Surgery in Canada is only partially subsidized. You pay out of pocket for the surgeons costs but not the hospital. For upper/lower & genioplasty plus cheek implants (bone grafts) I paid $3,000CAD and braces are $7,200.

    Comment by Annie — August 3, 2008 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

  5. I was fortunately able to get the surgery done for free. I had just upper done in Dec 2007. I paid about $5000 for braces.

    Comment by Denise — February 2, 2009 @ 2:31 am | Reply

  6. Hi! I read your blog after researching orthognastic surgery. I have to have a very similiar procedure 2+ years of intense orthodontics, 3-piece maxillary osteotomy modified Le Fort I, and bilateral sagittal split ramus osteotomy on my mandible. I am fighting with Blue Cross to cover it or at least part, but so far they say it’s cosmetic! Can you believe it?? My orthodontics will cost $6200 and they dont accept insurance and also have to get implants for my eyeteeth, also not covered. I already lost $7000 with my other orthodontic office who made my situation WORSE and they WONT give me a refund! I can’t BELIEVE it! I would like to know how surgery went, the ramifications, etc, etc.
    Thank you!

    Comment by Shawna — January 21, 2010 @ 1:43 am | Reply

    • My 44 year old brother is about to have this procedure done next year and is in braces at the moment and is paying an incredible amount for the orthodontic part, the operation I’m not sure what that’s costing.
      I had the same procedure done when I was 20, (am now 41) and I didn’t have to pay a penny. It was totally done on the NHS here in the UK and was considered ‘corrective’ surgery rather than cosmetic. Plus no doubt because I was under 18 when it all started I was classed as a child. I believe it should be classed more as a ‘corrective’ procedure, the fact that I was unable to eat properly surely shouldn’t be judged as being purely ‘cosmetic’?? Not to mention the physcological effects it plays on people.
      All these years on I am so glad that it was done and everyday when I look in the mirror I know that it’s the ‘real’ me and not like a mask anymore.

      Comment by Joanne — September 21, 2010 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

  7. The orthodontics and orthognathic surgery for problems of this kind is widely available throughout the NHS free. Every large area in the UK has a Maxillofacial Unit with surgeons and orthodontists who do this work routinely. My hospital operates on around 120 patients with these problems every year. I am sorry you had to pay, even more sorry you had to go to France but happy you have a good result.

    Comment by A Maxillofacial Surgeon — April 1, 2010 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

  8. Cool blog. I’m also looking at possible 3 piece maxillary Le Fort 1 osteotomy with posterior impaction and bilateral mandibular surgical split osteotomy, and would like to know (from either Chinderella and/or Shawna) how it went, i.e surgery, recovery etc.

    Comment by mike4711 — June 21, 2010 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

  9. Hello. Nice blog! My daughter (Sara 19) is having this surgery preformed in 5 weeks. I was curious how far they advanced your jaws?

    Comment by anita hutton — April 22, 2011 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  10. Do you mind if I ask what it costed you in France? I’m really worried I can’t afford this!

    Comment by Anthony F — January 10, 2016 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

    • The orthodontics cost me about €4000, the surgeon’s fee was €1700. I didn’t pay for the hospital stay, because I had insurance. A 5 night stay is around €6500.

      Comment by chinderella — January 10, 2016 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  11. Wow that’s crazy cheap! Was it subsidised in any way?

    Comment by Anthony F — January 10, 2016 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

  12. Sorry got it wrong about the braces, it was €2500.
    No, not subsidies; it’s just….. France! Medicine is not a profit-making business there, I guess.

    Comment by chinderella — January 10, 2016 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  13. The name for this surgery is Le Fort 1 (upper lip) with Mandibular Sagittal slit Osteotomy (lower jaw) – mostly done in children to correct severe clef palate for developmental / humanitarian reasons, in adults it is consider “cosmetic” in nature – and its hard to find qualified Maxillofacial surgeon in the US that will take you seriously. Kind of like if you have leg deformity they will offer you a the cane instead fixing life long deformity.

    Comment by Andrew Kurtyko — January 11, 2016 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

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