Internal Distraction Resulted in Improved Patient-Reported Outcomes for Midface Hypoplasia

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Both internal and external distraction devices have been used successfully in correcting midface hypoplasia. Although the indication for surgery and the osteotomy techniques may be similar, deciding when to use internal versus external devices has not been studied. The authors studied patient-reported outcomes with FACE-Q and functional surveys for internal and external devices for midface distraction patients.


Patients who underwent distraction advancement after Le Fort I and Le Fort III were surveyed using the FACE-Q survey and a functional survey. Equal groups of internal and external device patients were compared (n = 64). Data recorded included: sex, age, follow-up, diagnosis, operating room time, expected blood loss, length of stay, distraction length, consolidation time, and complications.


Internal and external device groups were similar with regards to patient diagnosis, operative time, expected blood loss, distraction length but consolidation times differed (internal = 3.6 versus external = 1.1 months). For FACE-Q appearance appraisal, there were similarities in domain and scale. For the functional survey (airway/breathing, ocular/vision, occlusion/eating, speech/articulation), there was also similar scoring. However, internal device patients had superior FACE-Q scores for Quality of Life: Social Function (80.9 versus 68.9), Early Life Impact (92.9 versus 62.4), Dental Anxiety (70.2 versus 48.3), Psychological Well-being (87.8 versus 68.6); and Decision Satisfaction (81.2 versus 56.9) and Outcome Satisfaction (91.0 versus 84.7).


Internal and external midface distraction patients had similar patient-reported outcomes for appearance and functional improvement; however, internal device patients were more satisfied with their quality of life and their decision to undergo the procedure.

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