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Double Chin Surgery in Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Lower and upper jaw advancement surgery is a procedure called “double Jaw surgery” or “maxillomandibular advancement surgery” that provides expansion of the air passage behind the soft palate and tongue base, by allowing for pulling forward the soft tissues inside the lower and upper jaw bones. This technique is an approach that provides the maximum expansion in the air passage among all the surgical procedures developed for the treatment of sleep apnea, however, it is brought to agenda generally as a second phase surgical intervention for patients who could not benefit from other procedures, due to its relatively longer and more difficult postoperative recovery period as well as its potential risks and complications.

Jaw advancement surgeries can also be performed as the first treatment option for patients diagnosed—during their physical examinations and cephalometric radiological evaluations—with significant developmental disorders in terms of the dimensions of their face and jaw bones, to an extent that can cause narrowness in the air passages.

With this surgical procedure, the air passage can be expanded and the normal upper jaw-lower jaw relationship can be provided in patients with compatibility problems between their upper and lower jaws. Because Jaw advancement procedures performed for treatment of sleep apnea involve more jaw advancement compared with other similar jaw advancement procedures carried out for solving only compatibility problems between the upper and lower jaw, they cause more difficulties and more postoperative problems, and pose higher risks.

During a lower and upper jaw surgery performed under general anesthesia, all the processes are carried out through the mouth; and after cut by means of special surgical instruments, the jaw bones are pulled forward and then they are fixed in their new positions with titanium plaques and screws. 

Soft foods are recommended for the postoperative period. Normal chewing function begins after the completion of the healing process of the bone within 4 to 6 weeks.