What is a Maxillectomy?
I'm not going to talk about statistics, causes or anything like that - I will just explain, simply with no medical jargon (mainly because I don't know any) what a Maxillectomy is:
It is, in its simplest meaning, the removal of the Maxilla, your upper jaw bone. This will always include the removal of some or all of the roof of the mouth and leaves a hole up into your sinus cavity.
You can have a complete Maxillectomy, whereby all of your top jaw is removed along with your palette (roof of the mouth), or a partial or hemi Maxillectomy, whereby half or less is taken away.
In my case, I had half removed or thereabouts.
Once removed, there are a number of options available for reconstruction, but are TOTALLY dependant upon personal situation.
You can have the jaw replaced by using another bone from elsewhere on your body, with a skin flap (taken from your arm usually) used to seal the hole and effectively become a new roof of the mouth.
In many cases, you end up with an Obturator, just like me - an ultimately rudimentary device that is like a fancy set of false teeth with a bung on top to fill the void in the sinus.
You can usually function well having had a Maxillectomy, but each individual case will always be different.
Always seek professional medical advice, I can only tell you about me and my experience!
Here is an interview with my surgeon, Mr Ceri Hughes on the subject: