If distraction osteogenesis is to reach its full potential and achieve the level of accuracy that is possible with orthognathic surgery, its outcomes need to be as predictable. To this end, the authors developed a planning process for distraction osteogenesis similar to that used in orthognathic surgery. However, the success of the planning process depends on the authors' ability to execute the plan at the time of surgery. As a result, the authors needed to develop a surgical technique that would enable them to precisely install the distractor as indicated in the presurgical plan. The surgical technique presented in this article was developed for this purpose. The authors used this technique in seven patients (four boys and three girls; age range, 4 to 10 years). Four patients presented with unilateral deformities, and three patients presented with bilateral deformities. The follow-up period in this group of patients ranged from 12 to 33 months. The purpose of the technique is to replicate the position of the distractor on the mandible as determined by the presurgical plan. To this purpose, a custom drill guide and a surgical template have been developed. Both of these are used following the principles of triangulation to establish the pin position and orientation of the distractor. In the authors' hands, the use of this surgical technique has resulted in outcomes close to those predicted by the planning process.
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