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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2001 Jul;59(7):728-33.

Intraoral distraction osteogenesis of the mandible in hemifacial microsomia.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel. adi_rach@netvision.net.il



Lengthening of the mandible by distraction osteogenesis is the preferred method for treatment of hemifacial microsomia in children. Use of an intraoral distraction technique and horizontal oblique ramus osteotomy in such patients is presented.


Mandibular ramus lengthening was performed in 11 patients aged 6 to 12 years with hemifacial microsomia. During the age of mixed dentition in hemifacial microsomia patients with a hypoplastic mandible, the unerupted molars buds are located high in the retromolar region and are in danger of being damaged by the osteotomy. Therefore, an intraoral approach exposing the mandibular ramus and angle was performed, and a horizontal oblique ramus osteotomy was made, preserving the inferior alveolar nerve. An intraoral device was placed along the ramus, and distraction was started on the third postoperative day at the rate of 1 mm/d and continued for 2 to 3 weeks or as long as necessary. The device was maintained for retention an additional 6 weeks and was then removed.


Clinically, the face became more symmetric. The postdistraction posteroanterior cephalometric radiographs demonstrated elongation of the affected ramus and improvement in facial symmetry.


The advantages of this method are that it allows device placement along the ramus, permitting the ramus elongation necessary in treatment of hemifacial microsomia, that it prevents damage to the tooth buds which, during the age of mixed dentition, are in a higher position in the retromolar area, and that it prevents injury of the inferior alveolar nerve.

Copyright 2001 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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