Tuesday, 7 July 2009

SARPE (Surgically assisted rapid expansion) aged 23

I have to admit that the whole SARPE process was much worse than I had originally thought!

When you get past a certain age (probably your teens) your bones are pretty strong and do not move as easily as when you are younger. The reason for SARPE was to increase the width of my palate and the only way to to this sounds a bit barbaric so brace yourself (pardon the pun!)

The operation consists of you being knocked out and then a cut being made above your top teeth under your upper lip.....from here, the surgeons some how manage to make a cut in your palate (only the bone so all "internal") which later on enables the expansion required. You are then sewn up (with dissolving stitches) and then bought back round unless like me you also had to have all 4 wisdom teeth out due to crowding!

Prior to the operation I had this pretty torturous looking appliance fitted to the roof of my mouth. It was like a thick metal bar (shown later on) which attached to one side of my upper back teeth right across to the other side. When my lovely orthodontist fitted it I actually wanted to ask her if she was kidding! How could I possibly get used to this....Trying to talk was ridiculous, I had such a bad lisp!! The first time I tried to eat was part embarrassing part dangerous as I thought I was going to choke! I made the mistake of eating mozzarella which got completely tangled around the torture devise and I had to spend about half an hour "de-stringing" it!

At the time I honestly thought that this was it for me...how was I ever going to be able to talk, eat or go out again but believe me, it's crazy how quickly you adjust to such a thing in your mouth!


  1. Nataly, hi, I understand that You have posted this text 4 years ago but how long did You have an edema of the upper lip and cheeks?

    1. Hey, I had SARPE in November 2013...I was swollen for about a week. At 12 days I flew to NYC and did not have any obvious swelling at this stage. I hope that helps!