Objectives: To evaluate the long-term efficacy of hydroxyapatite cement in craniofacial reconstruction, specifically examining the role (if any) of radiation, implant location, and cement type.
Study design: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all patients presenting to the senior surgeon (Y.D.) for craniofacial reconstruction from September 1997 to April 2004.
Methods: Data were collected including type of cement used, size of defect, complications, need for removal of cement, reason for defect, and pathologic results of examination of removed cements.
Results: One hundred two patients were identified who underwent craniofacial reconstruction with hydroxyapatite cements, 7 of whom required complete implant removal (6 Norian and 1 Mimix), and 4 (2 Norian and 2 Bone source) of whom required partial implant removal for foreign body reaction. Five of the removals were in patients who underwent postoperative radiation.
Conclusions: Hydroxyapatite cements are safe in craniofacial reconstruction. The highest risk of implant infection comes from reconstruction in the area of the frontal sinus, immediately beneath coronal incisions, and in patients who receive postoperative radiation treatment. Based on our results, there does appear to be a statistically significant difference in rates of infection and foreign body reaction between the different types of hydroxyapatite cement. We would not recommend implantation of this material in contact with the frontal sinus. Caution should be exercised when it is placed directly beneath an incision or in patients receiving postoperative radiation, particularly if a boost dose is given.