Obstructive sleep apnea surgery: genioglossus advancement revisited

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2001 Oct;59(10):1181-4; discussion 1185. doi: 10.1053/joms.2001.27111.


Purpose: This study evaluated the accuracy of a genioglossus advancement (GA) technique (rectangular window) to incorporate the genial tubercle/genioglossus muscle complex (GGC) in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Methods: This prospective study consisted of 38 consecutive patients who underwent GA. Preoperative localization of the GGC was based on the cephalometric and panoramic radiographs, as well as digital palpation in the floor of mouth. Immediately after completion of the osteotomy, the presence of the genial tubercles and the amount of the genioglossus muscle captured in the bone flap were examined directly.

Results: All 38 pairs of genial tubercles were captured. Thirty-one patients had both bellies of the genioglossus muscle incorporated. Two patients had a complete belly and a partial (>50%) belly of the muscle captured. Five patients had only a portion (>50%) of both muscle bellies included. The incomplete incorporation of the muscles in the bone flap was caused by the limited lateral extension of the osteotomy beyond the genial tubercles. The causes of the limited lateral osteotomy extension included crowding of the lower incisors as well as the presence of elongated and/or medially angulated canine roots.

Conclusion: The results of this study show that the rectangular osteotomy technique accurately captures the genial tubercles and enables an adequate amount of the genioglossus muscle to be incorporated and advanced. However, limited lateral extension of the osteotomy can result in a decreased incorporation of genioglossus muscle in some patients.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandible / surgery*
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Osteotomy / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Tongue / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome