Short- and long-term outcomes of three-dimensional printed surgical guides and virtual surgical planning versus conventional methods for fibula free flap reconstruction of the mandible: Decreased nonunion and complication rates

Matthew M. May, Benjamin M. Howe, Thomas J. O'Byrne, Amy E. Alexander, Jonathon M. Morris, Eric J. Moore, Jan L. Kasperbauer, Jeffrey R. Janus, Kathryn M. Van Abel, Hunter J. Dickens, Daniel L. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: To determine whether virtual surgical planning and three-dimensional printed cutting guides (3D/VSP) improved radiographic bone union compared to conventional methods (CM) in fibula free flap (FFF) reconstruction of the mandibles. Methods: Retrospective study from the years 2000–2018 at a tertiary hospital. Osseous union was evaluated by a radiologist blinded to each patient's treatment. Results: Two hundred sixty patients who underwent FFF tissue transfer, 28 with VSP and 3D cutting guides. Bony union was not achieved in 46 (20%) patients who underwent CM compared to 1 (4%) of patients with VSP and guides (p = 0.036). FFF complication was significantly higher in CM with 87 patients (38%) compared to three patients (11%) in 3D/VSP (p = 0.005). Median time to bony union for patients who underwent CM was 1.4 years compared to 0.8 years in 3D/VSP. Conclusions: 3D/VSP reduced the rate of radiographic nonunion and flap-related complications in FFF reconstruction for mandibular defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHead and Neck
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • fibula free flap
  • head and neck cancer
  • mandible reconstruction
  • virtual surgical planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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