Can Vertical Jaw Lengthening Be Done By Distraction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, with regards to lengthening of the face, to my knowledge (I am by no means an expert on anything surgical related so please forgive me if I’m wrong), craniofacial distraction osteogenesis is used for lengthening the whole face and the cranium for patients with deformities. I wonder, could this process be used for non deformity cases and now I am also questioning if it really does lengthen the face (as you said jaw implants were the only surgical option for lengthening the face).

If it does in fact lengthen the face but cannot be used for non deformity cases, may I know the reasons why?

And finally, do you think in the near future there would be advancements such as internal nails (I did Quadrilateral Leg lengthening in 2015) which are used for the lengthening of the limbs?

A: Distraction lengthening, while being a useful procedure for severe craniofacial deformities, has no role in aesthetic facial concerns for variety of practical reasons. The application of external devices, scarring and protracted distraction and healing times makes the concept of ‘bone expansion’ in aesthetic facial surgery unacceptable to almost all patients.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon