Surgically Assisted Rapid Palate Expansion (SARPE) is a procedure that is done to help quickly separate the two halves of your palate. The procedure is typically done on adults by an Oral Surgeon under light sedation or general anesthesia. It is also known as Surgically Assisted Rapid Maxillary Expansion (SARME).
As a first step, your orthodontist fits you with a Rapid Palate Expander (RPE). During surgery, the Oral Surgeon performs a vertical osteotomy (cut in the bone) in the maxillary midline (middle of your palate). Several days after the procedure, your orthodontist will instruct you to widen the expander (in small daily amounts), until you reach the necessary dimension. At that point, you stop widening the device and a stabilization period of approximately three months begins. During the stabilization period, the expansion stops but the expander stays in place, allowing the bones to fuse in their new position.
During this process, you may notice new spaces or a diastema develop between your teeth, which is normal and expected. The spaces will be closed as your orthodontic treatment continues.
In some cases, it is also necessary to perform a Le Fort 1 Surgery in combination with an SARPE. If the two procedures are done together, it will all be performed in a hospital or surgery center.