Distraction osteogenesis is a reconstructive procedure that lengthens bone. This procedure involves gradually separating bone and allowing the growth of new bone to take place in between. Many patients who may benefit from distraction osteogenesis are those with congenital deformities or facial trauma injuries.
Distraction osteogenesis is a minimally invasive procedure that allows the regeneration of soft tissue and bone over time.
Who is a candidate for distraction osteogenesis?
Children and teens who undergo distraction osteogenesis benefit from a shorter recovery period, but the procedure can be performed at any age.
If any of the following apply to you, you may be a candidate for distraction osteogenesis:
- Improperly fitting upper or lower jaw
- Cleft palate
- Facial trauma injury
- Require a bone graft
This procedure may not be suitable for patients who are prone to infection or other complications.
Distraction osteogenesis creates new bone by gradually separating the existing bone. Over time, the soft tissue in between becomes new bone. A narrow jaw bone or palate is a common area for this procedure, but other parts of the body can benefit from this procedure as well.
The entire distraction osteogenesis process takes place within two procedures over the course of several weeks. During your first procedure, your oral surgeon will place a small distraction device by the area requiring new bone growth. The two segments of bone will pull in opposite directions every time the device is adjusted. This adjustment occurs at specific intervals for gradual separation. The healing period begins once enough separation between the bones has occurred. The soft tissue becomes new bone over the following six to eight weeks. The device is surgically removed after the healing period. General anesthesia is used during both surgical procedures.
Many patients find this gradual process to be less uncomfortable than they imagined. However, mild discomfort is expected, and your oral surgeon can prescribe painkillers to help you feel comfortable.
Distraction Osteogenesis in Slidell & Mandeville, LA
If you think distraction osteogenesis might be the right solution for you or your child, Dr. Brown at Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery will be happy to meet with you and discuss your options. Contact one of our offices in Slidell, LA, or Mandeville, LA, for an appointment. We look forward to caring for you and your loved ones.