The final result following orthognathic surgery may be hidden for months due to postoperative swelling. However, no substantial evidence supports this time estimate. Our study aims to three-dimensionally quantify volumetric changes in facial edema following triple-jaw surgery.
Materials and Methods:
This was a retrospective, three-dimensional (3D) study of patients who underwent primary orthognathic triple jaw surgery (Le Fort I, Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy (BSSO), and osseous genioplasty) by the senior author (DMS). Vectra 3D Software (Canfield, Fairfield, NJ) was used to assess and quantify volumetric changes between serial 3D photos. An inverse line of best-fit was plotted to assess reduction in postoperative facial edema. The effects of gender, age, body mass index, and tranexamic acid administration on swelling resolution were analyzed through mixed linear model analysis.
A total of 46 patients (198 images) met the study criteria. The equation for the inverse function line of best fit was y = −13.14ln (x) + 39.54 (P < 0.01). On average, 60% of the swelling resolved in 1 month, 84% after 6 months, and nearly 93% after 12 months. There were no significant differences in the rate of swelling resolution when accounting for age, gender, body mass index, or tranexamic acid administration.
Most facial edema resolved during the first month following triple jaw surgery, with significant reduction in swelling between 6 and 12 months postoperatively. After 1 year, approximately 10% of the initial edema remained.