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Complications of Calvarial Bone Harvesting for Maxillofacial Reconstructions

Touzet, Sandrine; Ferri, Joël MD, PhD; Wojcik, Thomas; Raoul, Gwénaël MD, PhD

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: January 2011 - Volume 22 - Issue 1 - p 178-181
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e3181f75300
Clinical Studies

Background: For almost a century, autologous bone grafts are the criterion standard for facial skeleton rehabilitations. Progressively, because of its various advantages, calvarial bone imposed as one of the most adapted for craniomaxillofacial reconstructions. Also, calvarial harvesting remains a controversial technique because of its potential complications described in the literature. The aim of this study was to report the precocious and late complications encountered in our practice and to compare them with the previous data of the literature.

Methods: We decided to realize a retrospective study over 10 years and 511 cases of calvarial bone harvesting performed in our maxillofacial department.

Results: Our results are very clear, reporting some annoying consequences and long-term aesthetic reattempts, but any serious complication.

Discussion: According to our experience and previous data of the literature, we described some technical refinements that could improve our technique and reduce its potentials complications. Nevertheless, we think that nowadays calvarial harvesting is the criterion standard for maxillofacial bone grafts, and the complications described in the literature are negligible for experienced operators.

From the *Oral and Maxillofacial Department, Roger Salengro Hospital; †Univ Lille Nord de France, UDSL, PRES; and ‡INSERM U 1008, Controlled Drug Delivery Systems and Biomaterials, Lille, France.

Received June 8, 2010.

Accepted for publication July 2, 2010.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Gwénaël Raoul, Oral and Maxillofacial Department, Roger Salengro Hospital, CHULille, F-59000, Lille, France; E-mail:;

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2011 Mutaz B. Habal, MD