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Resorbable Mesh in the Treatment of Orbital Floor Fractures

Hollier, Larry H. MD*; Rogers, Nicole BS; Berzin, Edward MD*; Stal, Samuel MD*

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: May 2001 - Volume 12 - Issue 3 - p 242-246
Clinical Notes
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A variety of materials have been used to reconstruct defects of the orbital floor. Autogenous materials such as bone and cartilage have the obvious drawback of the necessary donor site, whereas alloplastic implants carry the potential risk of infection, particularly when in communication with the maxillary sinus. Consequently, there has been interest in the use of resorbable alloplastic material that acts as a barrier until completely degraded. In this series, a total of 12 patients with orbital defects larger than 1 cm2 were treated by the placement of a resorbable mesh plate of polyglycolic and polylactic acid (Lactosorb). Of the total of 12 patients treated, 3 were lost to follow-up. Of the remaining 9 patients, the mean follow-up was 6 months, with the longest follow-up being 15 months and the shortest 1 month. Two patients developed enophthalmos. In each case, this measured 2 mm using Hertel exophthalmometry, and was present in the early postoperative period (less than 1 month). The cause of the enophthalmos in both patients was found to be a technical error in placement of the mesh. One patient developed an inflammatory reaction along the infraorbital rim requiring implant removal. This occurred at 7 months. From the above series, it is concluded that resorbable mesh is an acceptable material for reconstruction of the orbital floor in selected patients. It is believed that larger floor defects are better suited for nonresorbable alloplastic reconstruction, and that placement of the mesh over the infraorbital rim is unnecessary and places the patient at risk for a local inflammatory reaction.

New Orleans, Louisiana

From the *Division of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas; and Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Hollier, Suite 800, 6560 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas 77030.

© 2001 Mutaz B. Habal, MD