Genioplasty-Genioglossus Advancement

Genioplasty-genioglossus advancement are surgeries used to treat congenital problems that affect the function and appearance of your child’s chin. These procedures change the shape of your child’s chin without moving the teeth to improve breathing and balance their facial features.

We believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of this surgery and invite you to participate. The following information can help you learn about the surgery and how you can help.

Why Choose UPMC Children’s

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is a nationally ranked Top 10 children’s hospital. Our specialists perform dozens of orthognathic (jaw) surgeries each year, including genioplasty-genioglossus advancement. We are trained in complex craniofacial reconstruction, functional airway surgery, and facial aesthetics.

Our plastic surgery team at UPMC Children’s includes highly skilled surgeons, orthodontists, anesthesiologists, and nurses who are specially trained in caring for children and are dedicated to helping children function at the highest level by treating both common and complex surgical issues.

Children’s is the region’s leading pediatric referral facility and western Pennsylvania's only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. Whether your child’s situation is severe or straightforward, a congenital impairment, or the result of an injury or trauma, you can be confident that we’ll apply our years of expertise, knowledge, and experience to help your child.

Fast Facts About Genioplasty-Genioglossus Advancement

  • Genioplasty-genioglossus advancement are jaw surgeries that adjust your child’s chin. Your child may have one or both of these procedures:
    • Genioplasty (GWEE-knee-oh-plass-tee) reshapes or repositions the chin to improve facial balance and aesthetics.
    • Genioglossus (GEE-knee-oh-gloss-us) advancement moves your child’s tongue forward to increase airway size, improve breathing, and address sleep apnea.
  • These surgeries are typically done sometime after your child’s facial bones have reached maturity. For girls, this is usually ages 14 to 16, or 2 years after their first menstrual period. For boys and young men this is usually ages 16 to 18.
  • The genioplasty-genioglossus advancement surgeries are performed entirely inside your child’s mouth so there will be no visible scars on their face.
  • Most genioplasty-genioglossus advancement procedures are done as same-day surgery, which means your child will come into the hospital and go home the same day.
  • Your child will be given medicines to prevent pain during their surgery. The medicine your child is given will be based on what the anesthesiologist (AN-es-theez-e-ol-o-gist) decides is best for your child.
  • This surgery usually takes 1 hour.
  • General recovery time (before your child is back to normal) is around 6 to 8 weeks. This timeframe depends on how complex the surgery is. Usually, the first week or two are the most challenging.

Home Preparation

One business day before your child’s surgery, you’ll receive a phone call from a nurse. (Nurses do not make these calls on weekends or holidays.) The nurse will give you specific eating and drinking instructions for your child based on their age.

The Surgery

Your child’s genioplasty-genioglossus advancement will be done at the Same Day Surgery Center at Children’s in Lawrenceville.

When you have checked in, you and your child will be called to an examination room where your child’s health history will be taken and vital signs will be checked. You’ll meet with one of the doctors, including a doctor from anesthesia, on your child’s surgical team to go over the surgery. They will answer any last-minute questions you might have.

When it is time for your child to go the operating room, you’ll be asked to wait in the surgical family waiting area.

A Parent's/Guardian's Role

The most important role of a parent or guardian is to help your child stay calm and relaxed before the surgery. The best way to do that is to stay calm yourself.

During the surgery, at least one parent or guardian should remain in the surgical family waiting area at all times in case the family needs to be reached.

While Asleep

While your child is asleep, their heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and blood oxygen level will be checked continuously. When the surgery is over, the medicines will be stopped and your child will begin to wake up.

Waking Up

When your child is moved to the recovery room, you’ll be called so that you can be there as they wake up. You and your child will stay in the recovery room to be watched over until they are alert and drinking well.

Going Home

Most children go home the same day as surgery once they are drinking well and urinating normally. Your child will likely go home with an antibiotic and oral pain medicine to help them heal and be more comfortable. An oral antibiotic rinse also may be prescribed.

Follow Up

You’ll be given your child’s follow-up plan before you leave the hospital. This will tell you when to schedule your child’s follow-up appointment.

Helpful Tips

  • Facial swelling and bruising are normal after this surgery.
  • Numbness of the lips, cheeks, and chin is normal following this surgery and should improve over the first two weeks.

At-Home Care

You’ll be given information about how to help your child when you get home. This will include any medicines to give your child and how to care for their jaw as it heals. You will be given information about your child’s diet after surgery. Your child might feel sick to their stomach (nauseated) right after surgery. Our care team will provide support if needed.

It’s important that your child doesn’t do anything that could potentially injure their jaw, like lifting heavy things and energetic activities like gym and sports.

If you have ANY concerns, we are always happy to talk with you.

Special Needs

If your child has any special needs or health issues you feel the doctor needs to know about, or if you have any questions, please call 412-692-8650 before the surgery and ask to speak with the nurse. It is important to notify us in advance about any special needs your child might have.

If you need help after hours, call the Children’s operator at 412-692-5325 and ask to page the doctor who is on-call for your child’s procedure.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with the Division of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, call 412-692-8650. Online scheduling is also available for both in-person and video visits.

Our Location

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
4401 Penn Ave.
Floor 3
Pittsburgh, PA 15224