Bleeding. Due to an extremely small risk of bleeding associated with upper jaw procedures, you will be typed and screened in the unlikely event that a blood transfusion is necessary. Minor bleeding from the nose is not unusual, and the patient may experience small amounts of bleeding for up to two weeks postoperatively.
Changes in Bite. Since this procedure involves movements of both jaws, the patient’s bite may change despite several precautions taken before, during and after surgery. If this occurs, and the bite change is significant, further orthodontic and dental procedures may be necessary. The risk of this complication is minimized by the inclusion of orthodontic treatment as part of your surgical treatment and by the use of 3D imaging before and during your procedure.
Numbness of the Middle and Lower Portions of the Face. Due to swelling and bruising around major sensory nerves associated with the upper and lower jaw, some tingling and/or numbness in the lower lip, upper lip, and cheeks is common immediately after the procedure. This is expected to be temporary, and resolve within several weeks to months. This is only a sensory deficit and the movement of the face is not affected. While rare, some patients may have permanently altered feeling or sensation to the lower lip.
Change in Appearance. As a result of moving the upper and lower jaw forward, the facial appearance will change accordingly. The changes are considered positive in the vast majority of patients. As a board certified cosmetic surgeon, your physician will take appearance into consideration in planning and delivering your care while keeping in mind that the main goal is to improve the airway and treat your OSA.
Infection. Infection is extremely rare after bimaxillary surgery. When it does occur, it is often caused by loose hardware in the jaw. This complication usually occurs 3 to 4 weeks after your operation.
Need for Additional Procedures. While rare, bimaxillary surgery may not initially be effective in accomplishing the goals of surgery and another procedure may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome. In rare cases, there may be movement of the jaws postoperatively. This is termed relapse. If relapse occurs, it may necessitate another procedure to restore the results of surgery. Malunion, or incomplete healing of the bone in the upper or lower jaw, may also necessitate another procedure and possible bone graft to reestablish your results.