Assessment of the pharyngeal airway space after mandibular setback surgery

Marat Tselnik, M. Anthony Pogrel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Purpose: This retrospective study evaluated the change in pharyngeal airway space associated with surgical mandibular setback. Patients and Methods: Lateral cephalograms of 14 adult patients taken preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and at long-term follow-up were traced, and the width of the pharyngeal airway space and the pharyngeal airway space area were calculated and compared. Results: At long-term follow-up, the mean amount of mandibular setback was 9.7 mm. The mean reduction in the distance from the tongue base to the posterior pharyngeal wall was 4.77 mm (28% decrease). The mean reduction in pharyngeal airway space area was 1.52 cm2, which corresponded to a 12.8% reduction. There was a strong correlation between the amount of mandibular setback and the decrease in pharyngeal airway space area. Conclusion: Mandibular setback surgery causes a long-term decrease in pharyngeal airway space area. In patients who have other risk factors, for example, overweight, short necks, or large tongues, a mandibular setback procedure could possibly predispose to the development of sleep apnea syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-285
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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