A retrospective review of clinical outcomes was performed to determine the clinical utility and morbidity associated with the use of porous polyethylene facial implants. Three hundred seventy implants were placed in 162 consecutive patients, in 178 operations performed in 11 years. The number of patients, the number of implants used, and the average follow-up period were categorized according to the cause of the deformity. The resultant distribution was as follows: acquired (tumor-related), 17 patients, 39 implants, and 30 months; congenital, eight patients, 31 implants, and 92 months; aesthetic, 39 patients, 97 implants, and 24 months; secondary posttraumatic, 48 patients, 139 implants, and 37 months; and acute trauma (internal orbit reconstruction), 50 patients, 64 implants, and 9 months. The distribution of implants according to location was as follows: frontal, 21; temporal, 30; internal orbit, 145; infraorbital rim, 28; malar, 58; paranasal, 29; nasal, 13; mandible, 24; and chin, 22. The combined average follow-up period per patient was 27 months (range, immediate postoperative period to 11 years). All implants were placed in the subperiosteal plane, and the majority were fixed with titanium screws. Antibiotics were administered perioperatively. No implants were extruded or migrated, formed clinically apparent capsules, or caused symptoms attributable to bioincompatibility. The overall reoperation rate was 10 percent (n = 16), which included operations to remove implants because of acute infections (2 percent, n = 3) or a late infection (1 percent, n = 1), to remove implants causing displeasing contours (2 percent, n = 3), and to improve contours (6 percent, n = 9). Porous polyethylene implants have biomaterial properties favorable for facial skeletal augmentation. Screw application of the implants to the skeleton allows precise predictable contouring, thus limiting the need for revisional surgical procedures. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 111: 1818, 2003.)
From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Received for publication April 1, 2002; revised July 16, 2002.
Michael J. Yaremchuk, M.D. Massachusetts General Hospital 15 Parkman Street, Suite 453 Boston, Mass. email@example.com