I confess that when one is fully engaged in clinical practice and research, finding a sense of perspective can be challenging—and never more so than with oral and maxillofacial surgery, which for 50 years emphasized materials and techniques that enabled only incremental progress. Thankfully, for the past two decades, we have been advancing toward the sophisticated surgical planning required to truly optimize patient outcomes.  Please know that I am singularly grateful to have embarked upon my career during the latter era.  For more than 17 years, my brilliant team and collaborators across the world have focused on developing and refining surgical planning methodologies to progressively achieve more precise results. 


First and foremost, I want to express my deepest appreciation to the wonderful, courageous patients who have trusted me; my research partners and colleagues, as we have devised, honed, and disseminated our meticulous planning processes for oral and maxillofacial surgery.

My heartfelt appreciation and gratitude go to my extraordinary research colleague and longtime partner, Dr. James J. Xia, MD, PhD, without whom our program at Houston Methodist would not exist. Also, special thanks are extended to my stalwart collaborator, John F. Teichgraeber, MD, FACS, professor and director of the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery in the department of pediatric surgery at UTHealth McGovern Medical School, with whom I have been privileged to serve as co-director of the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Clinic.  In addition, I would thank our sponsoring institutions, Houston Methodist and Weill Cornell Medical College, as well as our department’s clinical, research, and administrative staff, for their unflagging support.


It is with great warmth and enthusiasm that I acknowledge my close colleague and role model, Leonard B. Kaban, DMD, MD, FACS. Dr. Kaban, or Lenny—as he is known to his associates and friends—is the former chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and the previous chairman of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM).  Lenny is internationally renowned for his work in the treatment of children with craniofacial abnormalities, jaw deformities, jaw tumors, TMJ deformities, salivary gland disease, secondary cleft lip/palate deformities, obstructive sleep apnea, micrognathia and facial trauma. His landmark translational research includes the development of distraction osteogenesis for mandibular advancement, bone wound healing, and tissue engineering.  Lenny is an abiding inspirational force in my life, and I know many others would report the same.

Of course, private philanthropy, extramural funding, and seminal advice have played a significant role in facilitating the development of our program at Houston Methodist.  I am tremendously grateful to the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation for generously agreeing to support the publication of this book; more specifically, I would thank Margaret Alkek Williams, chairman; Charles A. Williams, president; Randa Duncan Williams, vice president; Scott B. Seaman, executive director; and Sandra K. Bacak, controller. On the research side, Dr. James Xia and I would like to acknowledge the following extramural funding sources: NIH/NIDCR R41/R42 DE016171, NIH/NIDCR R01 DE022676, NIH/NIDCR R01 DE021863, and NIH/NIDCR R01 DE022676 (renewal).  Last, but not least, I want to extend special thanks to my esteemed friend, Rahul Metha, for his invaluable advice.  

In addition, I would acknowledge the parents, wives, husbands, and children who have made sacrifices so that we, as clinicians and researchers, can devote ourselves to solving problems that impact the lives of patients.  


Finally, allowing that no human enterprise can be successful without the knowledge and support afforded us by those who came before—as well as those who have believed in us along the way—the reality is that many heroes will remain unsung in this acknowledgment.  I nonetheless recognize an immense debt of gratitude for your contributions—past, present, and future.



—Jaime Gateno, MD, DDS

Chair, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Houston Methodist Academic Institute

Full Clinical Member

Houston Methodist Research Institute

Professor of Clinical Surgery - Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Weill Cornell Medical College


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