Facial plast Surg 2011; 27(4): 358-365
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1283054
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Computer-Assisted Innovations in Craniofacial Surgery

Kelli Rudman1 , Craig Hoekzema1 , John Rhee1
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Publication History

Publication Date:
26 July 2011 (online)


Reconstructive surgery for complex craniofacial defects challenges even the most experienced surgeons. Preoperative reconstructive planning requires consideration of both functional and aesthetic properties of the mandible, orbit, and midface. Technological innovations allow for computer-assisted preoperative planning, computer-aided manufacturing of patient-specific implants (PSIs), and computer-assisted intraoperative navigation. Although many case reports discuss computer-assisted preoperative planning and creation of custom implants, a general overview of computer-assisted innovations is not readily available. This article reviews innovations in computer-assisted reconstructive surgery including anatomic considerations when using PSIs, technologies available for preoperative planning, work flow and process of obtaining a PSI, and implant materials available for PSIs. A case example follows illustrating the use of this technology in the reconstruction of an orbital-frontal-temporal defect with a PSI. Computer-assisted reconstruction of complex craniofacial defects provides the reconstructive surgeon with innovative options for challenging reconstructive cases. As technology advances, applications of computer-assisted reconstruction will continue to expand.