Functional and aesthetic reconstruction after wide decompressive craniectomy directly correlates with subsequent quality of life. Advancements in the development of biomaterials have now made three-dimensional (3-D) titanium mesh a new option for the repair of skull defects after craniectomy. The purpose of this study was to review aesthetic and surgical outcomes and complications of patients who had skull defects repaired with 3-D titanium mesh. The records of 40 adult patients (31 unilateral craniectomies and 9 bilateral craniectomies) who underwent a computer-assisted designed titanium mesh implant at a university hospital from January 2008 to January 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Aesthetic outcomes, cranial nerve V and VII function, and complications (hardware extrusions, meningitis, osteomyelitis, brain abscess, and pneumocephalus) were evaluated. The craniofacial symmetry, implant stability, and functional outcomes were excellent for all patients. No patients had trigeminal or facial dysfunction. All had excellent cosmetic results as measured by post-reduction radiographs and personal and family perceptions of the forehead contour. Two patients had delayed wound healing and subsequent subclinical wound infections, which resolved after treatment with antibiotics for 2 weeks. Craniofacial skeletal reconstruction with 3-D titanium mesh results in excellent forehead contour and cosmesis, and subsequently a better quality of life with few complications. Titanium mesh reconstruction offers a favorable alternative to other graft materials in the repair of large skull defects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology