Jaw Surgery Before & After Photos

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 1

Hemifacial/craniofacial microsomia includes a wide spectrum of severity and conditions, with many names including Goldenhar syndrome and oculo-auriculo-verterbral spectrum.
Some children are born with a slightly smaller lower jaw or ear. Other children may have severe asymmetry affecting multiple areas including the eye, ear, cheek, upper and lower jaw, and nerve function. Other organ systems may also be affected, including the heart, kidneys, spine, and arms/hands, and need to be evaluated as well.
As each and every child is unique, their treatment plan must also be tailored to their needs. The goals are always to offer the best chance at a happy and healthy life, while minimizing the number of surgeries and the risks involved.
For this gentleman, the occlusion of his teeth was severely slanted, with TMJ pain and popping.
To correct this, we performed upper and lower jaw surgery with TMJ replacement at the same time. We waited to do this until he reached skeletal maturity and had a long enough break from contact sports to heal.
After the first few months of recovery, his jaw is free of popping and pain, and his symmetry is improved. Further procedures like fat grafting may be offered to further fine tune any asymmetry if desired.
As you can see, we love our patients, especially ones we have cared for since they were little!

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 2

Orthognathic surgery (aka “jaw surgery”) involves the repositioning of the upper and/or lower jaw to correct a number of problems.

Commonly we perform this surgery for our patients with a history of a cleft. Growth of the upper jaw may not keep up with the lower jaw. The teeth then do not line up, and normal chewing is affected.

We also perform this surgery for patients with sleep apnea, or other imbalances of the jaws including overbites, underbites, open bites, and cants (like with hemifacial microsomia).

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 3

This handsome young man has a history of a unilateral cleft lip and palate.

He is seen here 7 months after jaw surgery (maxillary advancement, mandibular setback, and chin advancement), and 1 month after rhinoplasty.

His occlusion (or how his teeth fit together) is now centered and leveled, with the teeth now able to chew optimally. This will help with TMJ and dental health long-term.

The bony work also helped to balance his facial profile, giving his upper lip and chin more support.

The rhinoplasty improved his breathing by straightening the septum and supporting his nasal passages, like having a Breathe-Right strip on the inside of his nose.

His lip scar will also continue to improve after a re-repair and re-orientation of the muscle of his lip.

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 4

Here is a sneak peek with one of our all-star patients with a history of a more rare facial cleft.

She has had multiple surgeries with another team, and came to our team for her jaw surgery to correct her malocclusion.

As with many of our cleft and craniofacial patients, her upper jaw did not grow as much as the lower jaw. The two jaws also did not line up well.

This can result in difficulty eating normally, facial imbalance, dental disease, and jaw pain.

For her, we performed 3D planning to design the movements and final implants to give more stability and predictability with her surgery.

She is seen here at 2 months, with more updates to come!

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 5

This young man has a history of a repaired bilateral cleft lip and palate, and had difficulty chewing because his upper and lower teeth did not naturally come together.

The upper jaw often does not grow as much as the lower jaw, or may grow canted, in our patients born with a cleft.

Not every patient with a cleft will need this surgery, but it is one we perform routinely given the number of cleft and non-cleft craniofacial patients we see.

We usually wait until patients are fully skeletally mature before doing this surgery, to minimize the risk of needing to do any future surgeries.

Occasionally, the difference in the upper and lower jaw is so severe that we do perform distraction surgery prior to full maturity, knowing that we may need another surgery in the future.

He is seen here at 6 weeks after his operation, with his splint out and smile ready to show off!

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 6

This patient has a history of Nager syndrome, with severe underdevelopment of her lower jaw.

The small size of her mandible has required her to have a tracheostomy her entire life. She has had multiple jaw distractions, where the mandible has been broken and gradually lengthened.

The combination of her condition and her surgeries had left her with ankylosed, or totally frozen and immobile, TMJ’s on both sides.

We performed custom TMJ replacements – similar to a knee or hip replacement – with the condyles replaced with titanium heads, and a titanium and plastic joint fossa custom made to fit at the base of her skull.

She is seen here at 6 weeks after her surgery, with her range of motion the best it has ever been. She continues to improve every week as she progresses with her physical therapy.

She has been able and wanting to talk more, too, and we look forward to repairing her cleft palate (which has never been accessible). One day we may be able to remove her trach as well!

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 7

This hockey player had difficulty chewing due to an open and uneven bite.

Upper and lower jaw surgery (LeFort I advancement and bilateral sagittal split osteotomy) was performed to close and level his occlusion.

He is happily now back to full activities on his skates!

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 8

The path to a new smile sometimes comes through our office. For jaw surgery.

Braces alone sometimes aren’t enough to get a smile just right.

If the upper and lower dental arches are too far apart, or the facial harmony would be improved, orthognathic surgery may be recommended.

The main goals are often to align the upper and lower teeth, to help with chewing food completely and safely, and to improve facial balance from the upper, middle, and lower face.

Here, mandible-only surgery with a bilateral sagittal split osteotomy was done to correct a class II malocclusion.

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 9

The smile says it all!

About 1 in 3 patients with cleft lip and palate benefit from jaw surgery. Aligning the upper and lower teeth helps people fully chew their food, and reduces wear and tear on the TMJ’s.

We also consider facial balance and harmony when planning the surgery and final outcome.

Jaw surgery can often be done in a single surgery, sometimes involving just the upper jaw, and sometimes with the lower jaw as well.

Here, the amount of advancement was well over 10mm, which is the point at which we usually move towards distraction over a single surgery.

Distraction involves cutting the bone and freeing up scar tissue, but then gradually moving from the starting position by 1mm per day.

New bone is deposited in the space made as the upper jaw moves forward. The surrounding blood vessels, lining, and old scar tissue all expand and accommodate the new bony position.

We usually keep the hardware in place (much more comfortably after finishing advancement!) for 3 months while the new bone hardens.

At that point, minor adjustments can be made as needed with additional movement or augmentation, or just removal of the hardware.

Here, we performed some fat grafting to the upper lip, expecting about half of the fat to reabsorb and half to stay long term.

He is seen here at about a month after that surgery — we look forward to sharing more photos as all the swelling comes down!

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 10

Jaw surgery is a big surgery and a big recovery, but can be worth it because it makes such a big difference.

At some point, if the upper and lower roots are just too far apart, no amount of orthodontics will allow the teeth to line up.

That difference leads to problems chewing, breathing, and speaking. Some people also are more self-conscious of their smile.

Here, a four-piece Lefort 1 was performed, to correct a difference in the transverse dimension, in addition to the anterior-posterior direction.

He is seen here at 6 weeks, well on the road to recovery!

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 11

This patient had a cleft palate and Class III malocclusion, meaning her upper jaw growth had not kept pace with the lower jaw. i.e., the maxilla was further back than the mandible.

This difference in bite causes problems with speech and chewing, and can increase the wear and tear on teeth and the TMJ’s.

Here, a custom-planned Lefort 1 advancement and chin advancement (genioplasty) corrected her malocclusion, while also giving a little bit more chin definition without going through the recovery and risks of a BSSO for the mandible.

Jaw Surgery Before & After Case 12

What a pleasure taking care of our patients who need jaw surgery.

It can be a tough surgery and tougher recovery, but the benefits to breathing, chewing, and facial balance can be tremendous.

This man worked through the worst of it – the months of prep work, swelling, drainage, difficulty sleeping, and more – with superb care and composure.

In this case, additional bone grafting to the upper cheeks helped improve lower eyelid support and balance, and augmented the bony healing and stability after the osteotomy.

We look forward to watch him continue on to greater things!