Objectives: To study the possible morphologic changes in the nose after subnasal modified Le Fort I maxillary osteotomy to correct class 3 dentofacial deformities in patients with considered normal nasal morphology.
Methods: Fifteen patients (7 males, 8 females) requiring maxillary advancement to treat class 3 dentofacial deformities were studied prospectively between January 2004 and 2011. All the patients had an adequate projection of the nasal tip preoperatively preventing a conventional Le Fort I osteotomy. Patients received preoperatively (T1), 6 months after surgery (T2), and 12 months after the initial surgical procedure (T3) lateral cephalograms, CT-3D studies and clinical nose analysis to measure different morphologic variables including: the alar/nose base width, nasal tip protrusion and nasal bridge length using a digital sliding calliper directly on the soft-tissue surface of the face.
Results: Mean age was 26.2 years, range 20–36 years. A significant advancement of the maxilla was noted postoperatively (mean 7.5 mm). After surgery the different anthropometric variables of the nasal region analyzed had not suffered any significant variation. No significant differences were found when comparing T2 with T3 measures. No significant complications were found.
Conclusions: The results indicated that maxillary advancement using a subnasal modified Le Fort I osteotomy can prevent undesirable soft tissue changes of the nose when anterior repositioning of the maxilla is indicated in patients with preoperatively normal nasal morphology.
Key words: Le Fort I; maxillary osteotomy; nasal morphology