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How Is Mandibular Distraction Performed?

Posted Jul 18 2013 8:10am

The surgical procedure of mandibular distraction is a very advanced one and the lower jaw gets its required projection as an increase in its size is brought about, and it can grow proportionately with the rest of the face. There are a few reputable plastic surgeons in Houston that offer this procedure.

Distraction Osteogenesis for Correcting the Asymmetry of the Face

The treatment of several conditions has been revolutionized with distraction osteogenesis including:
  • Midface retrusion
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Temporo mandibular joint ankylosis
  • Cranial synostosis

The Procedure of Lower Jaw Distraction

For this procedure, an incision would be made by the surgeon inside the mouth for cutting the lower jaw bone or the mandible on each side. Then, he would place a distraction device, which can be adjusted for lengthening the jaw. The bony ends are gradually pulled apart. Then, the new bone forms and fills the gap that is created. This procedure is considered to be complete when the front of the jaw acquires its proper position. Then, the surgeon would remove the distraction device along with the connecting pins after hardening of the new bone formation is seen. This also helps to keep the jaw from collapsing. The mandibular bones conjoin strongly and quickly. There is only a very rare risk of fibrous union, non-union or infection, unlike the case with lower extremity bones. The distraction procedure may have to be repeated with patients who have facial clefting syndromes or Treacher Collins syndrome. 

What Are the Benefits of This Procedure?

An improvement is brought about in breathing and this is a major benefit of this procedure. The level of oxygen in the blood is improved, which further leads to an improvement in brain function, weight gain, behavior and academic performance. Marked improvement is seen in conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux and hypertension. To benefit from the advantages of this procedure, it has to be done by a plastic surgeon renowned for his/her expertise in craniofacial as well as reconstructive procedures. The best of comfort, attention, treatment and maximum care is offered to the patients by a reliable surgeon. To find out whether your child is a good candidate for mandibular distraction, the surgeon will examine him/her closely and along with that, x-rays will also be taken. All these together with the clinical picture will enable the surgeon to decide whether the child is an appropriate candidate for this particular technique. Make sure that the surgeon is caring and supportive and listens to your concerns. Ensure that the procedure is provided at a plastic surgery facility that is equipped with the latest technology, has compassionate support staff, and enjoys a good reputation.

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