While the use of virtual surgical planning (VSP) has been well described in the adult craniofacial literature, there has been little written about pediatric uses or trends. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the evolving utilization of VSP for pediatric craniofacial procedures.
The authors’ prospective institutional review board-approved craniofacial registry was queried for index craniofacial procedures from January 2011 through December 2018. Data was collected regarding utilization of traditional surgical planning versus VSP, as well as the extent of VSP's influence on the operative procedure. These data were analyzed for trends over time and compared using appropriate statistics.
During the study period, a total of 1131 index craniofacial cases were performed, of which 160 cases (14.1%) utilized VSP. Utilization of VSP collectively increased over time, from 2.0% in 2011 to 18.6% in 2018 (P < 0.001). Utilization rates of VSP varied across procedures from 0% of craniosynostosis cases and fronto-orbital advancement cases to 67% of osteocutaneous free tissue transfers (P < 0.001). The most profound contributor to increase in VSP utilization was orthognathic surgery, utilized in 0% of orthognathic procedures in 2011 to 68.3% of orthognathic procedures in 2018 (P < 0.001).
Utilization of virtual surgical planning for pediatric craniofacial procedures is increasing, especially for complex orthognathic procedures and osteocutaneous free tissue transfers. Utilization patterns of individual components of the VSP system demonstrate unique footprints across the spectrum of craniofacial procedures, which reinforces the specific and variable benefits of this workflow for treating pediatric craniofacial disorders.