J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2015 Mar 21;68(3):329-38. Epub 2014 Nov 21.
Dept. of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX, USA. Electronic address:
Purpose: Traditional cranioplasty methods focus on pre-operative or intraoperative hand molding. Recently, CT-guided polyether ether ketone (PEEK) plate reconstruction enables precise, time-saving reconstruction. This case series aims to show a single institution experience with use of PEEK cranioplasty as an effective, safe, precise, reusable, and time-saving cranioplasty technique in large, complex cranial defects.
Methods: We performed a 6-year retrospective review of cranioplasty procedures performed at our affiliated hospitals using PEEK implants. A total of nineteen patients underwent twenty-two cranioplasty procedures. Pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative data was collected.
Results: Nineteen patients underwent twenty-two procedures. Time interval from injury to loss of primary cranioplasty averaged 57.7 months (0-336 mo); 4.0 months (n=10, range 0-19) in cases of trauma. Time interval from primary cranioplasty loss to PEEK cranioplasty was 11.8 months for infection (n=11, range 6-25 mo), 12.2 months for trauma (n=5, range 2-27 mo), and 0.3 months for cosmetic or functional reconstructions (n=3, range 0-1). Similar surgical techniques were used in all patients. Drains were placed in 11/22 procedures. Varying techniques were used in skin closure, including adjacent tissue transfer (4/22) and free tissue transfer (1/22). The PEEK plate required modification in four procedures. Three patients had reoperation following PEEK plate reconstruction.
Conclusion: Cranioplasty utilizing CT-guided PEEK plate allows easy inset, anatomic accuracy, mirror image aesthetics, simplification of complex 3D defects, and potential time savings. Additionally, it's easily manipulated in the operating room, and can be easily re-utilized in cases of intraoperative course changes or infection.