Study shows internal fixation surgery linked with improvement in long jaw patients’ quality of life

A study published in Clinical Oral Investigations and led by Dr Mike Y.Y. Leung, clinical associate professor in oral and maxillofacial surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, the University of Hong Kong, compared the changes of patients’ quality of life (QoL) after receiving intraoral vertical ramus osteotomy (IVRO) or sagittal split ramus osteotomy (SSRO) as the treatment for mandibular prognathism. The condition is a facial deformity and affects the chewing function, facial aesthetics, and self-esteem of the individual, as well as causing jaw joint pain. The correction of mandibular prognathism requires orthognathic surgery, which involves creating a split in the jawbone(s) and fixation in a planned position.

A total of 98 patients were randomised to receive IVRO (49 patients) or SSRO (49 patients) as the mandibular setback procedure of their orthognathic surgery. Patient QoL was assessed by two self-administered questionnaires, namely a 14-item Short-Form Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14) to evaluate the oral health-related QoL, and a 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), to evaluate the physical and mental health-related QoL. The longitudinal changes of the patients’ QoL were analysed and compared up to two postoperative years.

The study found that after an early recovery period from the surgery, the oral health-related QoL in patients in both IVRO and SSRO groups was significantly better from post-operative three months onward when compared to the pre-operative status, and it continued to improve steadily afterwards. In addition, it was found that patients who underwent surgery at a younger age had a better oral health-related QoL during the postoperative period.