Surgical Technique |

A Novel, Conformable, Rapidly Setting Nasal Splint Material:  Results of a Prospective Study

Min S. Ahn, MD; Corey S. Maas, MD; Nathan Monhian, MD
Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2003;5(2):189-192. doi:10.1001/archfaci.5.2.189.
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Objective  To determine if a fiberglass splint material (3M Scotchcast, St Paul, Minn; Smith & Nephew, Inc, Charlotte, NC) serves as a better nasal cast than Aquaplast (Smith & Nephew, Inc) based on the criteria of total preparation time, ease of use, conformability, adhesion, and patient acceptability.

Design  Prospective randomized comparison study with statistical analysis.

Setting  University-based division of a facial plastic surgery private clinic.

Patients  Sixteen consecutive patients desiring a functional and aesthetic improvement underwent open structure rhinoplasty with lateral osteotomies. No patients withdrew because of adverse effects.

Intervention  Half of the patients were randomized to the study group (fiberglass splint material) and half to the control group (Aquaplast). Each patient was fitted with the appropriate casting material at the conclusion of the rhinoplasty procedure. Data were collected with respect to total preparation time, ease of use, conformability, and adhesion. Each patient was asked to evaluate the cast for level of comfort after 1 week.

Results  There were no significant differences between study groups for adhesion (P = .18) and conformability (P = .35). Patient acceptability was good or excellent in both study groups. The fiberglass splint material was significantly easier to use (P<.001) and required less total preparation time (P<.001). The mean total preparation time for the Aquaplast and fiberglass splint materials were, respectively, 7 minutes 32 seconds and 2 minutes 37 seconds.

Conclusions  Compared with the commonly used nasal splinting material Aquaplast, fiberglass splint material is not significantly more adhesive, conformable, or comfortable for the patient. Fiberglass splint material is significantly easier to use and requires less total preparation time than Aquaplast. These differences may provide advantages in the immediate postoperative period and for the long-term success of rhinoplasty surgery.

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Figure 1.

After immersion in room temperature water, fiberglass splint material is applied to the nose and quickly achieves rigidity.

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Figure 2.

Standard operating room clocks used to measure total preparation time. The clock on the left has second-hand stopwatch capability.

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Figure 3.

Fiberglass splint material rapidly achieves rigidity after immersion in room temperature water. Because heated water is not required for preparation, total preparation time is significantly reduced.

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Figure 4.

Comparison of total preparation time and ease of use (measured with 5-point scale where 5 is most easy) between fiberglass splint material and Aquaplast (mean ± SD). Fiberglass splint material requires on average 2 minutes 37 seconds to reach rigidity, whereas Aquaplast takes an additional 4 minutes 55 seconds.

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Figure 5.

Fiberglass splint material demonstrates strength, malleability, conformability, and rapidity in achieving rigidity, and is therefore well suited for nasal casting.

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