LeFort Osteotomy

 

The Lefort classification, names after Rene Le Fort, refers to both a type of fracture and a type of surgical procedure based on intentionally fracturing the bone to move it. There are three classifications of Lefort: Lefort 1, Lefort 2, and Lefort 3.

Lefort Types

The Le Fort 1 surgery is most common, used often by dental surgeons to correct underbites and aiding in resolving the symptoms of TMJ issues. 

Potential Benefits

The Lefort surgery can be used to correct underbites, and is commonly used in double jaw surgery to remove bone from the larger lower jaw and place in in the upper jaw to resolve the discrepancy. The Lefort procedures can increase nasal and oral volume, as well as increase the space in the throat airway, helping those with sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea issues. While Lefort 1 is performed at the discretion of the dental surgeon to visually improve the cases of those with underbites and poor occlusion, Le Fort 2 and Le Fort 3 surgical procedures are largely reserved only to accident victims and those with severe growth issues such as cleft palate of maxillary hypoplasia. 

Potential Side Effects

The Le Fort procedures are incredibly invasive, and can have numerous complications. The LeFort 2 and Lefort 3 osteotomy procedures are rare in comparison to the Lefort 1 due to the rapid increase in risk that comes from expanding the area included in this surgery. A perfectly successful Le Fort procedure will, at the very least, result in massive swelling and temporary scar tissue around the face, with patients requiring wires jaws and soft/liquid diets for many months following the surgery. The Trigeminal Nerve runs through the area of all Lefort Procedures, and complications from surgery can result in parts of the nerve becoming either damaged or fully inhibited. The result can be loss of muscle control in the face and mouth, tingling / pain, and loss of sensory innervation resulting in numb faces or mouths. 

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