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Patient perceptions of orthognathic surgery

American Journal of Orthodontics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0002-9416(85)90238-6
  • Orthognathic Surgery
  • Patient Perceptions
  • Psychological Response
  • Presurgical Preparation
  • Surgical Outcome
  • Medicine


Abstract A retrospective study of ninety orthognathic surgery patients was conducted to investigate (1) their presurgical concerns and motivations, (2) their preoperative preparation for surgery, and (3) their perceptions of the postsurgical outcome. All subjects completed a twenty-three-item questionnaire and Rotter's Locus of Control Inventory. Statistical date analyses were performed by means of frequency distributions, chi-square, Spearman's r, and Fisher's exact probability tests. The results are presented as thirteen tentative conclusions categorized into three broad areas: motivations and concerns, presurgical preparation, and postsurgical outcome. In the area of motivations and concerns, those with primarily esthetic motivations have less initial reticence toward having orthognathic surgery and less difficulty adjusting to their new appearance than those with strong functional incentives. Younger patients and those patients with strong cosmetic motivations are less concerned about surgical risks. Under the category of presurgical preparation, more females than males desire to speak to a previous orthognathic surgery patient. Patients who receive inadequate explanation of the surgical procedure are more likely to be emotionally unprepared. One of the leading factors in patient dissatisfaction with surgery is the patient's experience of postoperative “surprises.” In the area of postsurgical outcome, two-jaw operations precipitate more pain complaints than single-arch procedures. With time, however, patients tend to forget the degree of postoperative pain. Maxillary surgical procedures lead to less severe pain complaints than mandibular procedures, but there are more initial complaints of breathing difficulties and sinus problems following maxillary procedures. Surgical goal fulfillment does not guarantee that a patient would re-elect to have the treatment.

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