Many therapeutic approaches, including mandibular surgery, have been proposed for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. In the largest study of its type yet reported, 54 patients (population A) underwent mandibular surgery: 36 had palato-pharyngoplasty and inferior sagittal osteotomy of the mandible with hyoid myotomy and resuspension, and 18 (population B) had maxillo-mandibular hyoid advancement, a procedure consisting of palato-pharyngoplasty, inferior sagittal osteotomy of the mandible with hyoid myotomy and, several months later, a maxillo-mandibular osteotomy. Criteria for procedure selection and for evaluation of results were pre-set, and clinical and polygraphic follow-up occurred 6-8 months after final surgery. In population A, 32 of the 36 patients had improved; but only 20 were evaluated as "satisfactory". In contrast, all of the population B patients were judged satisfactory. Four of the population B patients received nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) before any surgery, and both approaches gave similar good polygraphic results. The degree of skeletal cranio-facial deficiencies, particularly retrognathia, is crucial for procedure selection. We describe potential procedural risks and problems.
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