A HOSPITALITY worker has documented her recovery from having jaw surgery that left her face so swollen she said she was giving “absolute chipmunk vibes”.
Tanzy Vickers had to go under the knife last week because her jaw stopped growing when she was 12-years-old and she was left with a severe overbite.
After discovering during an annual check up her jaw had prematurely stopped growing, Tanzy was booked in for surgery.
Her orthodontist said she only had a quarter of space for her airway than the average adult woman due to her severe overbite.
She has since been documenting her recovery process since undertaking her operation and showing how much the surgery caused her face to swell.
One of her first clips, posted on TikTok hours after surgery last week, Tanzy, from Victoria, Australia, wrote: “Absolute chipmunk vibes but nowhere near as bad as I thought in the way of pain. It’s probably only like a 3/10 at the moment tbh.”
Tanzy’s face is shown all swollen and bruised while being bandaged up in hospital.
In another video, posted on Monday, she says: “No proper update today. I’m feeling really down and all I’ve been wanting to do is sleep.
“The pain is a lot worse today and I have no appetite – being in the hospital overnight was so mentally and emotionally exhausting and it’s just taken it out of me.
“I’m doing okay, though, the surgeon said my stitches are still okay and to go see him again in a week. The reality of how huge this was/is and the fact I can’t do or eat anything but feel discomfort and pain has finally hit and I just need to sleep it off.”
One of the clips, attracting over 8mil views, features Tanzy a few days after surgery with her bandages off and shows just how extreme the swelling was.
Thousands of viewers left comments and sent their best wishes.
One said: “Sweetie, just rest and give yourself some grace. You will be on the other side of this soon.”
Another wrote: “That’s a trauma response to pain, you can sleep. It’s okay.”
A final person commented: “Take it from someone who’s had surgeries and been in the hospital a lot. Think about the worst pain you ever had before this, it doesn’t hurt now.”
A fourth added: “Oh my, that looks incredibly painful.”
While another person wrote: “That is absolutely terrifying, is it supposed to do that!?”
Speaking today, Tanzy said: “I first went to the orthodontist purely just for braces and to straighten out my teeth.
“After doing these scans, they discovered my airways were less than one quarter of the size they should’ve been and that my jaw stopped growing way too early.
“My 12 year-old molars were still only halfway out and my wisdom teeth were also all fully developed and stuck in my gums.
“So they told me due to my tiny airways and problems chewing, they’d recommend I get this surgery to stop further health problems arising in the future, such as sleep apnea.
“My teeth had to be in the correct position before the surgery went ahead, so I’d been on the wait list for surgery since November 2020 and my teeth were ready by April this year.
“You could see in photos of me smiling with my teeth, especially from the side, that my bottom jaw and chin were way too small.
“So basically my jaw was just far too small and needed to be brought forward 10mm to improve my breathing and chewing.
“I can now already feel the difference. Most of the healing will be done in the next months but it takes 12 to fully heal.
“Swelling will take up to a year and it’s the same with getting a full feeling back in my face. The only visible swelling, though I’ll have will just be like a lack of definition in my jaw, so it won’t be too noticeable.
“My five-year-old nephew was terrified to see me at first. He walked in the house with his hands over his face in case he saw me, but once he heard my voice he slowly came to look (in the dark) and then was fine.
“My family has just been very sympathetic – my sister thought it was hilarious on the first day but said that once my swelling got out of control, it was really distressing.
“Going out in public was terrifying and I was definitely getting a lot of looks.
“I wore my ice pack sling around my face the first day I went out, so it was more obvious I had something done, but I could definitely feel all eyes on me and my anxiety was through the roof -people aren’t even subtle about it and it makes me feel like I’m some sort of circus attraction with all the long stares and looks.”
She added: “At the moment all I’m looking forward to is eating again! I tried having some hot chips before and I had to rip them up into tiny pieces, squish them and then suck on them.
“But I’m really looking forward to seeing how my face was properly meant to grow and to be able to breathe and chew properly.”