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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1992 Jan;89(1):1-8; discussion 9-10.

Lengthening the human mandible by gradual distraction.

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New York University Medical Center Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, N.Y.


Lengthening of the mandible by gradual distraction was performed on four young patients (average age 78 months). The amount of mandibular bone lengthening ranged from 18 to 24 mm; one patient with Nager's syndrome underwent bilateral mandibular expansion. Following the period of expansion, the patients were maintained in external fixation for an average of 9 weeks to allow ossification. The patients were followed for a minimum of 11 months to a maximum of 20 months with clinical and dental examinations as well as photographic and radiographic documentation. The technique holds promise for early reconstruction of craniofacial skeletal defects without the need for bone grafts, blood transfusion, or intermaxillary fixation.

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