Maxillofacial surgery is any procedure related to the mouth, jaws, face and skull. It can be undertaken for a medical or cosmetic indication. It involves altering the facial structure to fix a deformity which may be developmental, related to injury or post surgery to treat a disease. The aim is a balanced appearance of the face that leads to improved functionality and increased self-esteem and confidence.
Procedures under Maxillofacial surgery include:
Surgical Correction of Maxillofacial Skeletal Deformities
- The principal goal of correction of maxillofacial deformities is cosmetic restoration and/or improvement in function along with prevention of potential re-occurrences.
- Maxillofacial irregularities are caused by genetic defects, injury or pathologic causes.
- They may be noticeable at birth or manifested during growth & development or acquired through trauma & degenerative diseases.
- Musculoskeletal deformities of the facial bones can occur unilaterally or bilaterally, either in one or both jaws.
- Reconstructive procedures involve repositioning and realigning facial bones to correct disfigurement of the jaws and associated soft tissues.
- Orthognathic surgery is performed to correct developmental growth abnormalities of the jaws and facial bones.
- Patients with such irregularities usually present with malocclusion.
- These problems not only affect chewing and speech but also the aesthetic appearance of the face and the overall health of the individual.
- Surgical treatment is usually carried out in combination with orthodontics.
- During surgery the jaws are moved to the correct position to improve the patient’s occlusion and restore normal facial appearance.
Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery
- Majority of craniofacial anomalies involve bones or vascular malformations.
- Surgeries to correct cleft are performed early in life.
- The optimal management of patients with cleft and craniofacial deformities involves a multidisciplinary team which is necessary for correction of all related abnormalities and appropriate rehabilitation.
Maxillofacial Trauma Surgery
- This involves repair of simple and complex facial injuries which includes realigning a fractured jaw or displaced facial bones along with reconnecting severed nerves, ducts and other vital structures.
- TMJ disorders maybe due to a combination of factors such as genetics, arthritis or jaw injury.
- Symptoms are pain and discomfort while using the jaw.
- Corrective procedures help regain the ability to perform normal functions while eliminating the pain.
Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery
- Reconstructive surgery is performed for correcting jaw, facial bone and soft tissue deformities arising from previous trauma or removal of tumor.
- It restores form and function by moving skin, bone, nerves and tissues from other parts of the body to reconstruct the facial structures.
- The same skills are used to perform cosmetic procedures for improvement of unwanted facial features or signs of aging.
Recovery and Result
After surgery the recovery period is at least six weeks. Sometimes complete recovery may take up to 12 weeks depending on the procedure done. Some restrictions and physical therapy will be advised in the postoperative period that needs to be followed for optimal results.