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Question 15 - How does a MMA with rotation effect the airway?

From: K. B.

Dear Doctor:

I just saw two MMA surgeons last week for severe sleep apnea. One said that the rotation system where the lower jaw moves more than the upper jaw which would not make me look as bad was good because I would not look as bad.

The other MMA surgeon said that the same rotation system would have no effect in opening of the air way and that it could reduce the amount of the air way which that is the intent of the surgery.

Which is True?

Very Gratefully Yours,


Answer Provided by Dr. Kasey Li
July 25, 2007

The bottom line is that the advancement of the jaw expands the airway.

Using advancement and some rotation (not at the hinge of the jaw, but actually physically rotate the jaw in a counter-clock direction during surgery) can allow further movement of the mandible and open up the airway further.

However, the degree of advancement and rotation is purely dependent on the jaw, airway and the esthetic issues.

Good luck




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