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Purpose of review: A myriad of surgical approaches to the craniomaxillofacial skeleton exist. Depending on the purpose of the procedure and the anatomic area to be addressed, classically used approaches include coronal approach, midfacial degloving, eyelid incisions, and other cutaneous incisions. Over the last decade, endoscopic approaches have become more popular. Whether external, transoral, or endoscopic, a detailed knowledge of the indications, anatomy, limitations, and potential complications is critical to the successful employment of these approaches. This article reviews the recent literature on classic as well as novel advancements to the craniofacial skeleton.

Recent findings: Multiple studies in the last 5 years have investigated the approaches to the craniofacial skeleton. Most of these focus on trauma. Recent advances have concentrated on external versus endoscopic approaches to the mandibular condyle, an endoscopic approach to the midface and orbit, three-dimensional imaging of the facial skeleton, and improving upon the existing classic approaches and techniques.

Summary: Approaches to the craniomaxillofacial skeleton continue to evolve with the refinement of classic approaches and advent of new technologies and approaches. This study reviews the recent literature and provides a comprehensive review of options for craniofacial exposure and the most up-to-date surgical options.

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