A 26-year-old man presented with a 6-year history of severe obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome followed a bimaxillary osteotomy procedure for a class III skeletal pattern. The patient was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate and underwent primary lip and palate repair and later a pharyngeal flap for severe velopharyngeal insufficiency. Surgical management of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome with conventional osteotomy, in cleft lip and palate patients, is a difficult problem. Distraction osteogenesis may provide a safer alternative. The authors describe and discuss the indications and the technical challenge of a multistage treatment protocol with distraction osteogenesis.