Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis

At the Yale Airway and Sleep Disorders Program, our multidisciplinary team has been successfully treating adults and children with obstructive sleep apnea and obstructed breathing due to an exceptionally narrow jaw with mandibular distraction osteogenesis.

If you are a parent, and your child has trouble breathing due to a birth defect or facial anomaly, the thought of your child undergoing surgery can be frightening. Equally, if you are an adult facing surgery to treat obstructive sleep apnea, it is normal to feel nervous about the process. Our team of specialists offers among the highest level of coordinated management and comprehensive care in the country.

Mandibular distraction osteogenesis is a jaw surgery that treats sleep apnea and enhances airway function by widening the mandible (lower jaw). The basis of mandibular distraction is a surgical technique commonly associated with orthognathic surgery. Most commonly, mandibular distraction is used to treat children and adults with jaw abnormalities, especially due to cleft palate, severe asymmetry, severe mandibular hypoplasia with resulting airway compromise, facial clefts, Treacher Collins syndrome, Pierre Robin Sequence, and hemifacial microsomia.

By using advanced 3D imaging to assess your or your child’s specific condition, we can simulate the outcome of proposed surgical plans and adjust any discrepancies before surgery. The 3D technology allows us to create a surgical plan with a level of accuracy not available with traditional imaging technology.

Another goal of the surgery is to avoid a tracheostomy or so that an existing tracheostomy can be removed.