Soft tissue changes of the upper lip associated with maxillary advancement in obstructive sleep apnea patients

Academic Article


  • Purpose: This retrospective study evaluated the horizontal and vertical soft tissue changes that occur with maxillary advancement surgery with a Le Fort I osteotomy with concomitant anatomic reorientation of the nasolabial musculature. Subjects and Methods: Fifteen OSA patients who underwent maxillary advancement with a Le Fort I osteotomy without adjunctive nasal soft tissue procedures were studied after a minimum of 8 months of follow-up. The V-Y technique was used to close the maxillary vestibular incision. Only cases with minimal vertical movement (< 3.5 mm) in which no orthodontics were used were included. The average maxillary advancement was 8.0 ± 2.5 mm, measured at the upper incisor (UPI) and the average vertical movement was 0.7 ± 1.8 mm. The horizontal and vertical soft tissue change in subnasale (SN), labrale superiorus (LS), superior stomion (SS), nasal tip (NT), nasolabial angle (NLA), and lip length were measured in each patient and correlated with hard tissue measurements at anterior nasal spine (ANS) and UPI. The effect of lip thickness on these soft tissue changes also was evaluated. Results: Using mean data, the horizontal soft-to-hard-tissue ratio for LS to UPI was 0.80:1, with a concomitant vertical (superior) soft tissue change to hard tissue advancement of 0.16:1. Lip length did not change significantly. All patients except 1 showed a slight decrease in nasolabial angle. The average decrease was 5° (range, -10° to +7°). There was no statistically significant correlation between the degree of change in NLA and the amount of maxillary advancement. Conclusion: This study showed that advancement of the maxilla when controlling vertical movement resulted in the a hard-to-soft-tissue ratio of LS:UPI of 0.80:1. NLA did not change significantly. © 2001 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Louis PJ; Austin RB; Waite PD; Mathews CS
  • Start Page

  • 151
  • End Page

  • 156
  • Volume

  • 59
  • Issue

  • 2