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What is Maxillary Surgery?

By Dulce Corazon
Updated Jan 30, 2024
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Maxillary surgery is a type of facial surgery performed on patients suffering from upper jaw abnormalities or uneven growth of the jaw. It involves moving, cutting, or bone grafting to correct these problems. Bone grafting may be implemented using artificial bone materials, or a portion of bone taken from another bone in the patient's body. In some instances, maxillary surgery may also involve repair of the patient's lower jaw, also referred to as the mandible. Orthodontic procedures like installation of braces or retainers may also be done to enforce the effects of maxillary surgery.

An example of upper jaw abnormality that requires maxillary surgery is cleft palate. A cleft palate is an inborn deformity in which the tissue forming the mouth's roof fails to close. This defect often leads to feeding and speech problems as the child grows. Maxillary surgery is often performed when the child is younger than one year old, which is before he starts to speak.

Patients with uneven or abnormal jaw growth usually have difficulty in chewing foods due to misalignment of the upper and lower jaw. Most of these cases also have associated cosmetic problems. These can be corrected by doing a maxillary osteotomy surgery. Osteotomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting of the bone. Surgeons who perform the maxillary surgery are those who have undergone specialty training in craniofacial surgery.

The procedure is usually done under general anesthesia. Surgeons often make incisions on the face to expose the maxilla in order to realign the bone. They may use screws and tiny plates to secure the new position of the bone before closing up the skin incision. Most patients may have to stay in the hospital for a day or two after the procedure, depending usually on their health status.

Maxillary surgery can cause major facial swelling after surgery. The swelling may last for several days, and residual swelling may also be experienced for several weeks. Complications that may arise from maxillary surgery include infections, bleeding, and nerve damage. Nerve damage to the area can sometimes result in the temporary or permanent numbness in the lips, chin, and gums.

After the surgery, patients are generally instructed to adopt an all-liquid diet. Soft foods may be introduced gradually, followed by other types of foods as patients recuperate. Patients are then monitored regularly, to check for infections and other problems, and to evaluate their overall response to the treatment procedure.

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Discussion Comments
By Talentryto — On May 01, 2014

@runducuri- Asking to see before and after pictures is also beneficial for patients who need maxillary surgery, especially those who have physical effects from a misaligned jaw. This procedure can offer some pretty astonishing improvements because it results in better facial harmony and asymmetry.

By Rundocuri — On Apr 30, 2014

I have a friend who had maxillary surgery, and it helped to improve her bite and her appearance. She was scared of the procedure at first, but is so happy with the results that she is glad she went through with it.

After experiencing this surgery with my friend, I think that anyone who is facing this type of procedure should have it done. If nervous about it, talk to your doctor and ask if it is possible to talk to other patients who have had jaw surgery. Many doctors can make such a conversation possible. Those who have been through it themselves are the best people to advise those who are considering jaw surgery.

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