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Le Fort Osteotomy


  • Le Fort osteotomy is surgery to fracture (break) and move bones in your face. Le Fort surgery changes the shape of your face. This may improve how you look. This surgery also may improve how you chew and breathe. Le Fort surgery is often needed for people who were born with facial bones that are out of place. You may also need this surgery if you hurt your face in an accident. After your face bones are moved, the bones are held in place by metal plates or screws. Sometimes, your bones are held in place with tiny pieces of bone from another part of your body.
  • There are three types of Le Fort surgery. Each type of surgery moves different bones in your face. During Le Fort I surgery, your maxillary bone (area just above your upper teeth) is fractured. The bone is then moved or shaped to change the way your face looks. During Le Fort II surgery, fractures are made above your nose and in your upper jaw. This surgery changes the center of your face. During Le Fort III surgery, fractures are made through your cheekbones and the bones around your eyes. Your caregiver will tell you what type of Le Fort surgery is best for you. Le Fort surgery may help the features of your face line up better. You may chew better, breathe better, and feel better about the way you look.



  • Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

  • You may be sent home with a device called a distractor. A distractor is attached to your head and helps pull your bones farther apart. Ask your caregiver how to care for your wounds from surgery. Ask your caregiver how to care for your distractor, and when you should have it removed. Ask your caregiver if you need to plan dental work after your surgery.

Wearing dental headgear:

You may need to wear dental headgear for up to six months after surgery to keep bones in place. Ask your caregiver for more information about dental headgear.


  • You have any problems with devices or bands on your teeth.
  • You have a fever.
  • Your wound looks red, swollen, or has pus coming from it.
  • You have any questions about your surgery or other treatments you are having.


  • You have new trouble breathing.
  • You feel your bones in your face move suddenly.
  • You have bleeding from your wounds, nose, or mouth that does not stop.
  • You have clear fluid coming out of your nose or ears.
  • The distractor attached to your head becomes loose.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.