Harvard Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Procedures

Distraction Osteogenesis

Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a surgical option for patients with very severe jaw deformities that are beyond the scope of conventional jaw surgery. DO is a minimally invasive operation that allows skeletal changes to be made gradually. Unlike traditional techniques, the surgeon makes small incisions to place an appliance—the “distractor”—on the patient’s jawbone. Over time, the appliance is subjected to incremental movements that reposition the bones more optimally. The procedures to place and remove the distractor are simple and low risk.

Due to the experience and emerging technologies required to perform this procedure, MGH is the only center in New England that currently offers this advanced procedure and performs the operation on a regular basis. Distraction osteogenesis is part of a portfolio of minimally invasive techniques being developed through the MGH Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and its Skeletal Biology Research Laboratory. These procedures represent our clinicians’ commitment to providing the best patient outcomes by applying state of the art technologies to advancing the treatment of oral and maxillofacial abnormalities.