Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate upper airway changes in patients with skeletal class II and class III malocclusion following orthognathic surgery. These patients underwent either bimaxillary surgery or only mandibular surgery depending on the severity of their deformity.
Methods: The study included 40 consecutive orthognathic patients treated at St. George’s hospital with bimaxillary surgery or bilateral sagittal split osteotomy alone for their facial deformity. Lateral cephalograms were taken pre and post surgery on all 40 patients. Measurements based on Mc Namara’s airway analysis were undertaken on both sets of cephalograms to look at any changes in the width of the nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal and laryngopharayngeal spaces post surgery.
Results: In order to look at the effect repositioning of the maxilla and mandible had on changes in airway dimensions post surgery the data was grouped and analysed as three groups – Group I – maxillary advancement with mandibular osteotomy, Group II – maxillary advancement with impaction and mandibular osteotomy and Group – III mandibular surgery only.
Clinical relevance: Bimaxillary surgery and genioplasty is now advocated as one of the treatment options for obstructive sleep apnoea patients. This study was set up to look at any clinically significant changes in airway width in patients undergoing elective orthognathic surgery. Any clinically significant increase in airway width post surgery would be beneficial to the patient, however a reduction could prove detrimental.
Key words : upper airway; othognathic surgery