Objectives To present our experience with reconstruction of midfacial defects using “precontoured positioning plates” with or without pericranial flaps and to describe our technique in detail.
Methods Thirty-two consecutive patients with midfacial defects subsequent to oncologic resection that were reconstructed primarily with cranial bone grafts and precontoured positioning plates were reviewed for type of defect, functional outcome, complications, and postoperative appearance.
Results Primary reconstruction of all defects in this series was performed. Defects involved the orbital rim, orbital floor, or both in 28 patients (88%), the body of the zygoma in 24 patients (75%), and extended to the skull base in 16 patients (50%). Pericranial flaps were used to cover the bone grafts in 22 patients (69%). Postoperative radiotherapy was performed in 22 patients (69%), preoperative radiotherapy in 5 (16%), and the other 5 (16%) had no radiotherapy. There were no intraoperative complications, and postoperative complications included plate exposure (n = 2), ectropion (n = 3), and partial bone graft loss or resorption subsequent to completion of radiotherapy (n = 2). Postoperatively, appearance was excellent in 24 patients, fair in 6 patients, and poor in 2 patients. Secondary reconstructive procedures were performed in 4 patients (12%). Follow-up ranged from 12 months to 6 years (median, 4.2 years).
Conclusions Precontoured positioning plates with or without pericranial flaps enable precise reconstruction of midfacial defects with precise incorporation of cranial bone grafts. In our series we routinely covered the bone grafts with well-vascularized tissues, leading to a low incidence of complications and excellent aesthetic results.