J Craniofac Surg. 2023 Jan-Feb 01;34(1):145-152. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000009006.
Titanium plates and screws are essential devices in maxillofacial surgery since late 1980s, but despite their wide use there is no consensus in titanium internal fixators removal after bone healing. A systematic literature review and meta-analysis were conducted on seventeen retrospective studies. Effect size and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for plate removal (per plate and per patient) and for removal causes (infection, pain, screws complications, exposition, palpability). Odds ratio, 95% confidence intervals, and χ 2 test were measured for sex, smoking, and implant site. Heterogeneity was evaluated with Cochran and Inconstancy test. Obtained data were used to design Forest and Funnel plots. The aim of the study is to identify and clarify reasons and risk factors for plates and screws removal. Infection is the most frequent reason; the habit of tobacco usage and implant site (mandibula) are the main risk factors. The administration of antibiotic prophylaxis is essential, and patients must quit smoking before and after surgery. In conclusion there is no scientific evidence supporting the removal of internal devices as mandatory step of the postoperative procedure.
Copyright © 2022 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.
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