Can A LeFort Osteotomy Be Done For Cosmetic Reasons?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I write to you to inquire if Lefort 1 osteotomy can be done for cosmetic purposes ( for instance: if a person considers herself to have a long mid face). I know my question is vain and somewhat selfish, but it is something that really bothers me about my appearance. Thank you for your time.

A: While a low level maxillary osteotomy (LeFort I) is usually done for some functional benefits (improved occlusion), it can also be performed for a pure cosmetic benefit. The usual reason that is done is in the patient with a long midface and a gummy smile. This is known as LeFort I impaction or vertical maxillary shortening. This is almost the only incidence where a LeFort osteotomy can be performed without having to cut (move) the lower jaw as well. Depending upon how much vertical movement is being done, the lower jaw (mandible) may autorotate enough so that orthodontic tooth movement/alignment before and/or after surgery may not be needed. Because of this potential issue, it is imperative to have an orthodontic consultation prior to considering this surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana