Patient-Specific Implants and Fat Grafting for Contour Deformities Post Craniosynostosis Reconstruction: A Therapeutic Approach

J Craniofac Surg. 2023 May 1;34(3):959-963. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000009178. Epub 2023 Jan 20.


Background: Contour deformities after fronto-orbital advancement for craniosynostosis reconstruction are commonly encountered. There is a paucity of literature describing secondary procedures to correct such deformities with reported outcomes. An approach to defect analysis and procedure selection is lacking. The authors present our experience utilizing fat grafting (FG) and patient-specific implant (PSI) reconstruction as management strategies for this population.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients who underwent secondary onlay PSI or FG for contour deformities after primary craniosynostosis reconstruction was carried out. Patient demographics, defect analysis, surgical approach, postoperative complications, and esthetic outcomes were recorded. Data were pooled across the entire cohort and presented in a descriptive manner.

Results: Fourteen patients (36% syndromic and 64% isolated) were identified that either underwent PSI (n = 7) with a mean follow-up of 56.3 weeks, FG (n = 5) with a mean follow-up of 36 weeks or a combination of both (n = 2) for deformities postcraniosynostis surgery. Supraorbital retrusion and bitemporal hollowing were the most common deformities. There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications. All patients achieved Whitaker class I esthetic outcomes and there were no additional revisions during the defined study period. The presence of a significant structural component or large (>5 mm) depression typically necessitated a PSI.

Conclusions: Contour deformities after fronto-orbital advancement reconstruction can be successfully managed using FG and PSI either as a combination procedure or in isolation. The authors have proposed anatomical criteria based on our experience to help guide procedure selection. Future prospective studies would be beneficial in providing more objective assessment criteria.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / transplantation
  • Craniosynostoses* / surgery
  • Dental Implants*
  • Esthetics, Dental
  • Humans
  • Orbit / surgery
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Dental Implants