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J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2013 Jan;41(1):e17-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2012.04.002. Epub 2012 May 22.

3D evaluation of postoperative swelling in treatment of bilateral mandibular fractures using 2 different cooling therapy methods: a randomized observer blind prospective study.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Surgical treatment and complications in patients with mandibular fractures leads to a significant degree of tissue trauma resulting in common postoperative symptoms and signs of pain, facial swelling, mandible dysfunction and limited mouth opening (trismus). Beneficial effects of local cold treatment on postoperative swelling, oedema, pain, inflammation and haemorrhage, as well as the reduction of metabolism, bleeding and haematomas have been described. The aim of this study was to compare postoperative cooling therapy by cooling compresses with the water-circulating cooling face mask by Hilotherm(®) in terms of beneficial effects on postoperative facial swelling, pain, mandible dysfunction, trismus and neurological complaints. Thirty-two patients were assigned for treatment of bilateral mandibular fractures and were divided randomly into treatment either with the Hilotherm(®) cooling face mask or with conventional cooling with cooling compresses. Cooling was initiated as soon as possible after surgery until postoperative day 3 continuously for 12h daily. Facial swelling was quantified by a 3D optical scanning technique. Pain, neurological complaints, mandibular dysfunction and the degree of mouth opening were measured for each patient. Patients receiving cooling therapy by Hilotherm(®) demonstrated less facial swelling, less pain, a tendency to fewer neurological complaints and were more satisfied when compared to conventional cooling. Hilotherm(®) is more superior in the management of postoperative swelling and pain after treatment of bilateral mandibular fractures when compared to conventional cooling.

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