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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Mar;69(3):733-41. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2010.11.028. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Use of virtual 3-dimensional surgery in post-traumatic craniomaxillofacial reconstruction.

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Department of Surgery, Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.


Traumatic craniofacial injuries often present as difficult reconstructive challenges for maxillofacial surgeons. Reconstruction is often complicated by significant soft tissue loss, comminuted bony fragments, a tenuous blood supply, and wound contamination. For panfacial injuries, restoration of normal facial width, facial height, and sagittal projection may be difficult to achieve. Marked swelling may limit the surgeons' ability to palpate and recognize subtle bony defects and malunion. Furthermore, a true 3-dimensional assessment of bony alignment may not be possible with traditional surgical exposures to the craniofacial skeleton. This article builds on previous work that introduced the use of 3-dimensionally guided surgery for microvascular free-flap reconstruction of the craniofacial skeleton. Use of this technology improves the planning, timing, and overall precision of microvascular reconstructive surgery. Based on this experience, a similar approach to reconstructing patients with significant craniofacial trauma has been adopted.

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