Dr. Coppelson has published research and trained extensively in the evaluation and surgical treatment of the jaws. Surgical repositioning of the jaws can have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of patients with obstructive sleep apnea and those with jaw deformities. Jaw deformities can significantly impact a patients ability to chew, speak, breathe, and psychological well-being.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and even life-threatening condition. The risks of undiagnosed OSA include heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and decreased libido. In addition, OSA causes daytime drowsiness that can result in accidents, lost productivity and relationship problems.
Depending on whether your OSA is mild, moderate, or severe, we will select the treatment that’s best for you. This can range from behavior modification, to oral appliances, to an air pressure device. Surgery may be a good alternative for some patients. This can include a procedure called a Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA). This procedure surgically moves the upper and lower jaws forward along with the soft tissues of the tongue and palate, opening the upper airway. For some patients, the MMA is the only technique that can create adequate space necessary for the air passageway, which can eliminate the need to wear appliances while sleeping.
The surgery can be performed using a variety of techniques. Most commonly, a LeFort I osteotomy is performed to reposition the upper jaw.
For the lower jaw, bilateral sagittal split osteotomies are most commonly performed.
Certain cases may benefit from additional surgery to augment the position of the chin and the attachments of the tongue. Depending on the design of the surgery, it can be referred to as a genioplasty or genioglossus advancement.