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Skeletal Surgery


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Skeletal surgery, or maxillomandibular (jaw) advancement, corrects problems in the jaws that cause sleep-disordered breathing, such as snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea.

Jaw advancement involves moving the upper jaw (maxilla) and the lower jaw (mandible) forward. Since the structures in the throat are attached to the jaws, maxillomandibular advancement opens and stabilizes the entire airway to improve breathing while you sleep.

Visit with a sleep medicine specialist at the University of Miami Health System to find out if maxillomandibular advancement surgery is right for you.

Who is a Candidate?

Candidates for maxillomandibular jaw advancement surgery are children and adults with sleep-disordered breathing caused in part by abnormal facial alignment. It may be an option when other therapies have failed, such as CPAP and myofunctional therapy.

What to Expect

During maxillomandibular jaw advancement, the surgeon accesses the jaws with incisions inside the mouth and sometimes also the cheeks.

The procedure involves separating and moving the upper and lower jaws, and securing them with metal plates and screws. The surgery on the upper jaw is called a LeFort 1 osteotomy. The surgery on the lower jaw is called a sagittal split.

Maxillomandibular surgery takes about three hours and requires two to three days in the hospital. After surgery, your jaws may be held together with tight bands. Recovery can take four to five weeks, with full activity in two to three months. Your doctor may recommend myofunctional therapy to retrain the facial muscles.

Why Choose UHealth?

Experienced pediatric and adult sleep surgeons. You can be confident your surgery is performed by board-certified pediatric or adult sleep medicine surgeons. Whatever the procedure, you receive the right care for the best possible outcomes.

Jaw advancement surgery as a first line of treatment. For many patients, maxillomandibular advancement can completely resolve obstructive sleep apnea. We’ll evaluate your condition and make the most effective recommendations for your specific needs. You will avoid unnecessary therapies and feel better faster.

Combined surgeries to make life easier for you. We understand the various causes of sleep-disordered breathing problems and perform expert procedures at the same time whenever possible. Maxillomandibular jaw advancement surgery can be performed with other procedures, like nasal surgery.

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