The Use of High-Density Polyethylene Implants in Facial Deformities

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To determine the usefulness of porous high-density polyethylene implants (Medpor) in a variety of facial skeletal deformities and subcutaneous defects, excluding those associated with acute maxillofacial trauma.


Case series.


Academic tertiary care referral center in Baltimore, Md.


Thirty-four patients (age range, 20-74 years) with facial deformities requiring skeletal defect reconstruction or augmentation (38 cases), treated between January 1, 1992, and January 1, 1997. Follow-up ranged from 6 months to 40 months.

Main Outcome Measures

Age, type and origin of the deformity treated, type of treatment, and complications.


Types of deformities and defects treated include 7 patients with orbital defects (secondary traumatic or oncologic deformities), 8 with temporal fossa defects, 8 with frontocranial defects, 4 with maxillary or malar defects, 7 with calvarial bone graft donor site defects, 2 with microtia, and 2 with chin deficiency. Forty implants were placed. Complications included implant exposure in 4 patients and inappropriate augmentation in 1 patient (chin implantation).


High-density polyethylene implants offer an excellent alternative to autogenous and other alloplastic materials in reconstruction of many facial defects and deformities. Advantages include its versatility and relatively ideal pore size that allows for excellent soft tissue ingrowth and coverage. Disadvantages include its rigid nature and difficulty in contouring to the surface of complex skeletal structures.

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