Hugo Obwegeser

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hugo Obwegeser
Born(1920-10-21)21 October 1920
Died2 September 2017(2017-09-02) (aged 96)
EducationUniversity of Vienna
Known forModern father of Orthognathic Surgery, First person to describe the bimaxillary surgery involving maxilla and mandible
Medical career
ProfessionOral Surgeon
Sub-SpecialtiesPlastic Surgeon

Hugo Obwegeser (21 October 1920 – 2 September 2017) was an Austrian Oral Surgeon and Plastic Surgeon who is known as the father of the modern orthognathic surgery. In his publication of 1970, he was the first surgeon to describe the simultaneous procedure which involved surgeries of both Maxilla and Mandible involving Le Fort I and Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy technique.[1][2]


In 1945, Hugo attended the Rockitansky Institute of Pathological Anatomy at University of Vienna after he consulted his uncle who was a physician. He received 1 year of general surgery training, 2 years of pathology training. Then he went to Graz University to train in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery under Richard Trauner. He trained there for 6 years and performed many surgeries related to war injuries. Hugo then left to train under Harold Gillies, who was known as the founder of modern plastic and reconstructive surgery. He worked with him from 1951 to 1952. Hugo was also influenced by Dr. Paul Tessier whom he learned how to advance the entire middle third of the face. Thus he eventually ended up attaining degrees in Oral and maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery and general surgery.[3]

Le Fort I osteotomy[edit]

Obwegeser developed the modern Le Fort I osteotomy procedure in which he completely immobilized the maxilla. His technique involved the pterygomaxillary disjunction. He was also a proponent of using bone graft between the pterygoid plates and maxillary tuberosities. Obwegeser's surgical technique was confirmed by William Bell's research on animals where the vasculature integrity of maxilla was confirmed. He also published a paper in 1969, where he described the two jaw surgery being performed simultaneously.[4]

It was in 1966 when Obwegeser introduced his orthognathic surgery techniques to surgeons of North America. This took place at the American Society of Oral Surgery meeting at the Walter Reed Military Hospital, Washington DC.[5]

He also wrote a textbook called Mandibular Growth Anomalies: Terminology-Aetiology Diagnosis - Treatment.[6]

Positions and awards[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Obwegeser, Hugo L., M.D. - University Honors". 1985-01-01. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  2. ^ MacIntosh, Robert Bruce (2005-11-01). "Hugo Obwegeser: forty years later". The New York State Dental Journal. 71 (6): 42–44. ISSN 0028-7571. PMID 16447545.
  3. ^ Naini, Farhad B.; Gill, Daljit S. (2016-11-14). Orthognathic Surgery: Principles, Planning and Practice. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118649961.
  4. ^ Posnick, Jeffrey C. (2013-08-01). Principles and Practice of Orthognathic Surgery. Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 9781455750276.
  5. ^ Zins, James E.; Gordon, Chad R. (2014-06-24). Handbook of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery. World Scientific. ISBN 9789814619639.
  6. ^ Obwegeser, Hugo L.; Tessier, P.; Proffit, W. R. (2000-12-15). Mandibular Growth Anomalies: Terminology - Aetiology Diagnosis - Treatment (2001 ed.). Springer. ISBN 9783540672142.