Facial plast Surg 1999; 15(1): 61-72
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1064301
© 1999 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Update on Bioresorbable Plates in Maxillofacial Surgery

R. Suuronen1 , P. E. Haers2 , C. Lindqvist1 , H. F. Sailer2
  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
02 June 2008 (online)


Biodegradable materials, mainly polymers and copolymers of polylactide and polyglycolide, are today routinely used as fixation materials in craniomaxillofacial surgery. Several research groups have shown that these materials can adequately fix osteotomies and fractures of the craniofacial skeleton. Although there are some differences between polymers, in general their biocompatibility is good. They gradually lose their strength, enabling the underlying bone to take up the stress. Secondary procedures for removal of the material causing discomfort and pain are not needed. An overview of the development of biodegradable materials, their characteristics, and illustrations of different applications in craniomaxillofacial surgery are presented. More than 200 patients have been treated successfully so far in our units, the longest follow-up time being now over 7 years. The good results indicate that the use of bioresorbable fixation can be considered routine and will be definitely state of art at the beginning of the new millennium.