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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 Feb;131(2):219e-230e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182778882.

Correcting the typical Apert face: combining bipartition with monobloc distraction.

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Department of Craniofacial Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Cavendish Imaging, London, United Kingdom.



Bipartition distraction is a novel procedure combining frontofacial bipartition and monobloc distraction. Apert syndrome and other syndromic craniofacial dysostoses are often characterized by hypertelorism, with a negative canthal axis and counterrotated orbits. Central midface hypoplasia can result in a biconcave face in both midsagittal and axial planes. Bipartition distraction can correct these facial abnormalities.


Twenty patients (19 Apert syndrome patients and one Pfeiffer syndrome patient, aged 1.6 to 21 years) underwent bipartition distraction. Severity of appearance was graded preoperatively and postoperatively as mild, moderate, or severe. Functional problems were documented by a multidisciplinary team. Central and lateral midface skeletal advancement were measured. Follow-up ranged from 15 months to 7 years.


Bipartition distraction consistently produced more central than lateral facial advancement. Mean central advancement was 13.2 ± 5.9 mm at sella-nasion and 11.7 ± 5.4 mm at sella-A point. Lateral advancement was 4.7 ± 2.8 mm. Unbending the face improved aesthetic appearance. Airway function, eye exposure, and elevated intracranial pressure were improved. Complications included six temporary cerebrospinal fluid leaks (four needing a lumbar drain), five patients with postoperative seizures, five patients requiring Rigid External Distraction frame repositioning, one palatal fistula, one velopharyngeal incompetence, five pin-site infections, one abscess under frontal bone, three cases of sepsis, nine patients with worsened strabismus, two patients with enophthalmos, one patient with partial visual field loss, and three patients who required reintubation because of aspiration.


: Bipartition distraction is an effective procedure with which to differentially advance the central face in Apert syndrome. It improves both function and aesthetics.


: Therapeutic, IV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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