Incidence of Sinusitis Postoperatively in Orthognathic Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Craniofac Surg. 2024 Jan-Feb;35(1):143-146. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000009738. Epub 2023 Sep 8.


Maxillary osteotomies as a component of orthognathic surgery disrupt the normal anatomy and function of the sinus. The osteotomy with advancement of the inferior component of the sinus leaves a bony and mucosal opening in the sinus. Immediately after surgery, nasal drainage is impeded because of intranasal swelling. Acute and chronic maxillary sinusitis would be expected; however, its incidence as an expected complication is not well documented. A systematic review and meta-analysis was completed using PubMed to determine the incidence of sinusitis after maxillary orthognathic surgery. Studies were reviewed by two authors, and incidence data were extracted. Two hundred six articles were identified with 24 meeting the criteria for analysis. The incidence of sinusitis was based on 4213 participants who had undergone orthognathic surgery. Twenty-three studies reported a total number of sinusitis cases, and the results demonstrated a pooled incidence of 3.3% (95% confidence interval: 1.77, 6.06). One study did not report a total number of cases but reported chronic sinusitis survey-duration-based and Lund-Mackay scores. These scores, respectively, worsened from 7.6 to 14.8 and from 1.58 to 2.90 postoperatively. Despite the variability of maxillary surgery, the surgical technique, and the postoperative management, the incidence is low but sinusitis does occur. Prospective studies with validated questionnaires within the context of a specific protocol may further elucidate the causality of sinusitis. Further, patients with sinonasal symptoms postsurgery should be encouraged to consult with an otolaryngologist to ensure prompt treatment.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Maxillary Sinusitis* / epidemiology
  • Maxillary Sinusitis* / etiology
  • Maxillary Sinusitis* / surgery
  • Orthognathic Surgery*
  • Osteotomy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sinusitis* / epidemiology
  • Sinusitis* / surgery