Delayed progressive haematoma after Le Fort I osteotomy: A possible severe complication in orthognatic surgery

Dario Bertossi, Luciano Malchiodi, Ehsani Shideh, Massimo Albanese, Marco Portelli, Alessandra Lucchese, Francesco Carinci, Pierfrancesco Nocini


Although the Le Fort I osteotomy is a safe surgical technique, many complications have been reported. We present a case of an extended cervico‑facial haematoma due to delayed bleeding from the terminal branches of the maxillary artery after orthognatic surgery. A 23‑year‑old man was referred to our observation for the surgical correction of a class III asymmetric malocclusion. The patient underwent a Le Fort I osteotomy, with impaction of the maxilla, associated with an Epker mandibular bilateral sagittal split osteotomy, with maxillary advancement and rigid internal fixation of the mandible with four miniplates and another four for the upper maxilla as well. The first post‑surgery day, the patient developed a gradual dispnea together with neck swelling. By second postoperative day, the patient’s general condition improved with a progressive normalization of laboratory tests values. The Computerised Axial Tomography (CAT) scan confirmed a decrease in the parapharyngeal thickening. Total recovery was achieved within two months, the final  clinical check showed a healthy appearance with good occlusion. An increased knowledge of the basic biology of the Le Fort I osteotomy, the development of instruments specially designed for the Le Fort I procedure and the use of hypotensive anaesthesia could reduce the morbidity and duration of this procedure.

Key Words: Complication after surgery, haematoma, Le Fort I osteotomy

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