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Trials. 2013 Jul 29;14:238. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-14-238.

Three-dimensional evaluation of postoperative swelling in treatment of zygomatic bone fractures using two different cooling therapy methods: a randomized, observer-blind, prospective study.

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Department of Oral, Maxillofacial and Plastic Facial Surgery, University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen, Aachen 52074, Germany.



Surgical treatment and complications in patients with zygomatic bone fractures can lead to a significant degree of tissue trauma resulting in common postoperative symptoms and types of pain, facial swelling and functional impairment. Beneficial effects of local cold treatment on postoperative swelling, edema, pain, inflammation, and hemorrhage, as well as the reduction of metabolism, bleeding and hematomas, have been described.The aim of this study was to compare postoperative cooling therapy applied through the use of cooling compresses with the water-circulating cooling face mask manufactured by Hilotherm in terms of beneficial impact on postoperative facial swelling, pain, eye motility, diplopia, neurological complaints and patient satisfaction.


Forty-two patients were selected for treatment of unilateral zygomatic bone fractures and were divided randomly to one of two treatments: either a Hilotherm cooling face mask or conventional cooling compresses. Cooling was initiated as soon as possible after surgery until postoperative day 3 and was applied continuously for 12 hours daily. Facial swelling was quantified through a three-dimensional optical scanning technique. Furthermore, pain, neurological complaints, eye motility, diplopia and patient satisfaction were observed for each patient.


Patients receiving a cooling therapy by Hilotherm demonstrated significantly less facial swelling, less pain, reduced limitation of eye motility and diplopia, fewer neurological complaints and were more satisfied compared to patients receiving conventional cooling therapy.


Hilotherapy is more efficient in managing postoperative swelling and pain after treatment of unilateral zygomatic bone fractures than conventional cooling.


German Clinical Trials Register ID: DRKS00004846.

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