Purpose: To evaluate pharyngeal airway volume changes after forward movements of the maxilla or mandible, or both, using cone-beam computed tomography.
Patients and methods: A retrospective evaluation of 30 patients who underwent maxillomandibular advancement, maxillary advancement, or mandibular advancement was performed. Three groups of 10 subjects each were established: group 1, bimaxillary surgery (Le Fort I maxillary osteotomy and mandibular bilateral sagittal split osteotomy with maxillomandibular advancement); group 2, maxillary advancement (Le Fort I maxillary osteotomy); and group 3, mandibular advancement (bilateral sagittal split osteotomy). Pre- and postoperative cone-beam computed tomography scans were taken in each case, and the changes in pharyngeal airway volume were compared.
Results: A statistically significant increase in the pharyngeal airway volume occurred systematically. The average percentage of increase was 69.8% in group 1 and 78.3% in group 3. Group 2 exhibited a lower magnitude of increase (37.7%).
Conclusion: Cone-beam computed tomography provides a new method for airway evaluation using a noninvasive, rapid, low-radiation, cost-effective scan. It seems the influence of mandibular advancement on the pharyngeal airway volume is greater than the effect of the forward movement of the maxilla.
Copyright © 2011 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.