The use of implantable biomaterials has become an integral part of aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face. Metals are used for fracture fixation devices, whereas polymers are used primarily for bone or soft-tissue substitution. This review of the scientific literature examines the risks and complications of these materials. First, we present an overview of commonly used materials. Second, we address general considerations of toxicity relevant to all biomaterials. Third, we present data from a large number of clinical series on the incidence of complications for individual materials used in specific applications. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 100: 1336, 1997.)
From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Received for publication June 28, 1996.
Presented at the ASMS symposium, “Implantable Biomaterials in Facial Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery: Biocompatibility and Clinical Applications,” in Montreal, Canada, in October of 1995, and the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Annual Meeting, in Dallas, Texas, in November of 1996.
Michael J. Yaremchuk, M.D.
WACC, Suite 453
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Mass. 02114