Craniofacial Adaptations Following Tongue Volume Reduction Surgery: A Systematic Review
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The study aims to systematically investigate the available literature regarding craniofacial adaptations after tongue volume reduction surgery and critically evaluate the quality of existing evidence. A search without restrictions for published and unpublished literature and hand searching was performed. Data on craniofacial adaptations in patients of any age having undergone tongue volume reduction surgery were reviewed. Methodological quality was evaluated using the Robins-I tool (Risk of Bias in Non- randomized studies of intervention). Out of 425 initially identified unique records, only 3 articles which followed patients up to one year post-surgery fulfilled the selection criteria for inclusion in the systematic review. Two studies presented data on various functional characteristics involving the tongue. After tongue volume reduction surgery, no significant differences were noted in the rest position, or during chewing and swallowing. At the same time, minimal influence was noted on oral stereognosis and motor ability. The third study investigating the effect of tongue volume reduction on dentofacial structures after mandibular setback showed that there was no significant difference in the assessed skeletal, hyoid position and airway cephalometric variables at 1 year. Methodological quality assessment identified various flaws in the included studies. The present systematic review showed that, overall, no statistically significant differences were noted in terms of tongue function and dentofacial structure adaptation following tongue volume reduction surgery in the medium term. More high quality studies are needed in order to further investigate craniofacial adaptations following this procedure.