Psychological impact of self-image dissatisfaction after orthognathic surgery: a case report.

Ilaria Pavone, Alessandra Rispoli, Alessandro Acocella, Anthony A. Scott, Paolo Nardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


AIMS: The number of patients who need treatment for dentofacial abnormalities has increased over the past 30 years. Facial alterations can influence both the patient's self-confidence and his interpersonal relationships, possibly generating emotional or physical handicaps. This qualitative study discusses a patient's psychological dissatisfaction with a postoperative outcome, despite the esthetic and functional success of the treatment. METHODS: The Oral Health Status Questionnaire, Post Surgical Satisfaction Questionnaire, Illness Behavior Questionnaire, and a clinical interview were used for the research methodology. RESULTS: Oral surgeons are encouraged to identify, presurgery, the patient's true motivation. An efficacious behavioral model is proposed that might help the patient transition through the consequences stages of the psychosocial changes associated with facial reconstructive surgery. CONCLUSION: Orthognathic surgery involves more than the correction of a physical problem. The psychological needs of the patient must be recognized and acknowledged, and communication between surgeons and patients is essential. It is important to understand that any surgical treatment that modifies body image could generate psychological disorders for some patients. Early surgical intervention and a referral for psychological counseling may reduce long-term morbidity. This case report should alert attending surgeons and orthodontists to possible unfavorable psychological sequelae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalWorld journal of orthodontics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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