This patient was born with a midline (Tessier 0) cleft. Like other children with this disorder, structures normally present in the center of the face were missing. These included the center of the upper lip, entire front of the upper jaw, roof of the mouth, internal nose structures, and all of the permanent upper front teeth. From experience with this type of disorder, we know that conventional surgical reconstruction will likely produce an unsatisfactory result. Initially, a graft from her rib was taken to close the gap from nose to mouth. Unfortunately, the upper jaw did not grow, leaving her with a severe underbite and no bone by which any replacement teeth could be inserted. This patient then worked with the Beyond Faces team, undergoing staged reconstruction with advanced technology.
Stage 1: Orthognathic surgery: Using instruments and technology developed by Beyond Faces, this patient underwent surgery to enlarge the upper face (a Le Fort III procedure) and upper jaw (a Le Fort I procedure). Devices custom designed and manufactured by Beyond Faces were used to cause this patient’s facial bones to grow bigger, making up the deficiency in her natural growth. Conventional surgery could not have produced the same correction.
Stage 2: Distraction osteogenesis (DO) with bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP): To replace the missing part of the upper jaw, this patient underwent DO combined with BMP therapy. Combining these two advanced technologies allowed this patient’s own body to grow the portion of the upper jaw, both bone and soft tissue, that she was not able to complete in the womb. Beyond Faces’ surgeons developed the technique of combining distraction osteogenesis and biotechnology in this manner. The successful result achieved could not be accomplished with conventional surgery.