Custom made titanium cranioplasty early and late complications of 151 cranioplasties and review of the literature.
R. Williams, K. F. Fan, R. P. Bentley
Int. J. Oral Maxillofac. Surg.
A diverse range of techniques is available for reconstruction of full-thickness calvarial defects and the optimum substrate for cranioplasty remains unproven. During a 9-year period, 149 patients underwent insertion of 151 custom-made titanium cranioplasties using the same technique. Data relating to patient demographics, indication for cranioplasty, and site and size of the defect were collected from the clinical records. Patients were followed up in all cases for a mean of 1 year 2 months (range 7 days to 8 years 8 months). Early complications requiring intervention were experienced in 7% and included seroma, haematoma, and continued bleeding necessitating implant removal in one patient.
One death occurred at 3 days’ post-operation due to haemorrhagic stroke. Late self-limiting complications such as seroma were experienced in 19% of patients, however complete failure requiring implant removal was seen in only 4% of cases. Infection was the cause of failure in all cases. A comprehensive literature review was carried out and data abstracted to compare reported failure rates in other techniques of full-thickness cranial reconstruction. This review shows that custom-made patient specific titanium cranioplasties compare very favorably to the other published techniques and remain a tried and tested option for reconstruction of all sizes of full-thickness calvarial defect.
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