What is orthognathic surgery?
The ortofacial surgery, formerly known as orthognathic surgery is a subspecialty of Maxillofacial Surgery which aims basically to restore facial harmony. This is achieved through a number of techniques to change the shape and position of the different elements that make up the skeleton of the face and also change what covers the skeleton, which is the facial mask, muscles, skin.
Therefore we are talking about the whole surgery of the face, not only soft tissue, not only parts, but a holistic approach changing the face globally: jaw, jaw, nose, cheekbones, chin, etc.. Everything can be moved, changed position, shape and size to recover the balance of the face.
What are the main advances in orthognathic surgery?
In recent years the ortofacial surgery as we conceived it in our institute, has developed in three key areas: first in the field of diagnosis and planning, second in the therapeutic field, the surgery itself, and third in the timing of this surgery.
Regarding diagnosis we have gone from a cephalometric, numeric, very hard diagnosis, to a more artistic approach to the diagnosis of faces. In our school, our group has published some articles that suggest new ways to diagnose and design faces.
On the other hand our center was a global pioneer in the creation of a 3D platform virtual planning that allows us, through a scanner we do face the patient before surgery, make a virtual simulation of the intervention and calculate a accurately pinpoint the position that will place the various elements of the face. This platform we launched 10 years ago has allowed us to treat more than 800 cases with this 3D virtual approach and there is no turning back, this is the way we should all facial surgeons to plan surgery.
On the other hand, in the surgical field, we have developed and published various techniques called ortofacial minimally invasive surgery, which allows us to reduce trauma, morbidity, the aggressiveness of this surgery because, instead of using large incisions to address facial bones, as are commonly used and have been used conventionally, have designed a very small approaches that allow us through the mouth and through the conjunctiva of the eyes reach different skeletal elements bony face and mobilize, repositioned in the new position with little patient traume. These minimally invasive techniques, on the other hand, allow significantly shorten surgical times.
Finally, any of the procedures ortofacial surgery, in our center are performed under local anesthesia and sedation, such as jaw surgery, a procedure that typically worldwide is done under general anesthesia, here we developed a protocol that we It allows to do with local anesthesia and sedation on an outpatient basis and that makes patients much more easily accept this type of surgeries that were once much more aggressive.
Does the orthognathic surgery is only cosmetic surgery?
Do not. Obviously a lot of patients who approach us have an aesthetic motivation but another part of patients have an occlusal motivation, what they want is that they fit well teeth, we need to mobilize the maxilla and / or mandible.
In addition, another growing proportion of patients what they want is dealing with a problem of obstructive sleep apnea, a problem caused because the bones of the face are lost and need to put them in place for patients to recover the respiration tube, can breathe normally, without having to be connected to a machine called CPAP that bothers them at night.