The aim of the study was to conduct a long-term follow-up investigation of the stability of hard and soft tissues after bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO) with rigid internal (RIF) fixation to advance the mandible. Sixteen consecutive patients (12 females and 4 males, mean age 21.4 years) were available for re-examination 12.7 years (T5) after surgery. The preceding follow-ups were before (T1), and 5 days (T2), 7.3 months (T3), and 13.9 months (T4) after surgery. Lateral cephalograms were traced by hand, digitized, and evaluated with the Dentofacial Planner program. The x-axis for the system of co-ordinates ran through sella (point zero) and the line NSL -7 degrees. Thus, the program determined the x- and y-values of each variable and the usual angles and distances. Statistical analysis was carried out using Wilcoxon's matched-pair signed-ranks test with Bonferroni adjustments. The relationships between the examined variables were analysed by Spearman rank correlation coefficients. The backward relapse at point B (T5) was 2.42 mm, or 50 per cent, and at pogonion 3.21 mm, or 60 per cent of the initial advancement. The mean net effect at T5 on the labial fold (soft tissue point B) was 94 per cent of the advancement at point B. For the soft tissue chin (soft tissue pogonion), it was 119 per cent of the advancement at pogonion. The net effect on the lower lip (labrale inferior) was 55 per cent of the advancement at incision inferior. The amount of the surgical advancement of the mandible was correlated with the long-term relapse in point B. Among possible reasons for this relapse are the initial soft tissue profile, the initial growth direction, and the remodelling processes of the hard tissue.