Some babies are born with an abnormally small jaw bone (mandible is another name for the lower jaw). Babies with a small or recessed jaw can have trouble eating, breathing, and sleeping because the small jaw pushes the tongue into the back of the throat, where it gets in the way of swallowing and breathing.

We are the only facility in the region with a comprehensive team of specialists who offer a unique procedure called “mandibular distraction” to correct this condition in the first weeks of a baby’s life. The procedure to lengthen the jaw bone begins with a surgery in which an incision is made, and the jaw bone carefully separated to allow a distraction device to be attached to the bone, on both sides of the jaw.

The device exits the skin either under the chin or behind the ear on each side.  We start turning the device the day after surgery and it is turned typically once or twice a day. 

We have an entire team dedicated to supporting babies and their families throughout this process that will allow your baby to breathe, eat, and sleep normally.