Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery
An open access publication of Association of Plastic Surgeons of India
Users Online: 127  
Home | Subscribe | Feedback | Login 
  Navigate here 
   Next article
   Previous article 
   Table of Contents
 Resource links
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Article in PDF (497 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  
  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded87    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Year : 2010  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-41

Use of HDPE implants in facial skeletal augmentation: Should we rush for it?

Department of Plastic Surgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh-160 012, India

Date of Web Publication3-Jun-2010

Correspondence Address:
Ramesh Kumar Sharma
Department of Plastic Surgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh-160 012
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20924448

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Sharma RK. Use of HDPE implants in facial skeletal augmentation: Should we rush for it?. Indian J Plast Surg 2010;43:40-1

How to cite this URL:
Sharma RK. Use of HDPE implants in facial skeletal augmentation: Should we rush for it?. Indian J Plast Surg [serial online] 2010 [cited 2019 Jul 21];43:40-1. Available from:

This article deals with the use of HDPE implant in the facial skeletal augmentation. The HDPE implants were used to augment the nasal dorsum, maxilla, malar eminence, chin, mandible body and angle, orbital rim and frontal region. The authors claim that majority of the patients had "satisfactory" results and the complication rate was about 10%. In this series none of the patients required implant removal till the time of reporting in their series. Let us dwell into the details of the 'satisfactory results'. Who has analyzed the patients' photographs-the surgeon or some third person? What criteria were taken to document improvement in the patient contour/appearance? Has the observation been put to some statistical scrutiny? In the absence of any objective criteria, the claims of improvement tend to become anecdotal.

What we do notice, however, is that the complication rate in the "nasal subgroup" is rather high (21% complications and 7% exposure). The authors feel that the complications could be avoided by having a slightly undersized implant and by ensuring a minimally scarred pocket. Many researchers have concluded that placement of implants directly under the skin without coverage of periosteum or another fascial envelope has increased risk of early and late exposure. Morbidity is also dependent upon the route chosen for implant replacement. The transoral and transnasal routes lead to more chances of infection. [1]

We are a proponent of autogenous material for correction of contour deformities. In a large personal series of more than 80 cases over a period of last 15 years there has not been even a single case where the autogenous material got infected or had to be removed later on. There is always a lurking danger of implant exposure even on a trivial trauma. Unfortunately, contrary to the claim of being able to "salvage" the implant by trimming and covering with vascularized tissue, [2],[3] in practice, the exposed implant needs to be removed, and one has to resort to substituting it with the good old and reliable autogenous material. One must also keep in mind that in the event of implant necessitating removal, it would be a surgical nightmare to do so for the HDPE implant that is badly stuck in the fibrous in- growth. When erosions occur they spoil the overlying skin and even after implant removal, the overlying tissues may be ruined for ever. [4] The HDPE implants are not far from being inert from an immunological point of view. Nevertheless, the reaction does not seem to be severe enough to compromise the stability and volume of the implant from a clinical point of view. [5]

In case of nasal augmentation the autogenous material is the best option and has given far superior results. [6],[7] The silicone implant tends to be "mobile" and the HDPE implant does not look and feel good. In every given scenario, the first choice should be an autogenous bone and only when it is not practical should alloplastic material be considered. One should not be carried away by this fad of using one or other alloplastic implant that is "custom-made" and can be done with "minimal fuss". We should explain to the patient the "real picture" of alloplastic material. Of course there can be situations where one has no choice but to fall back upon the alloplastic material-paucity of autogenous material, unwillingness on the part of the patient or need to "finish of the surgery" quickly because of poor surgical risk.

In conclusion, this is a large series wherein the use of HDPE implants in facial reconstructions in the Indian scenario have been shown to be "satisfactory" provided certain precautions are taken regarding the site, size and route of implant insertion. In carefully selected group of patients, HDPE implants can be an alternative to autogenous material. We need to discuss the potential complications and limitations with the patients. However, autogenous material should always remain the first choice for contour corrections/augmentations in the facial region.

  References Top

1.Menderes A, Baytekin C, Topcu A, Yilmaz M, Barutcu A. Craniofacial reconstruction with high-density porous polyethylene implants. J Craniofac Surg 2004;15:719-24.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Uysal A, Kayiran O, Karaaslan O, Ulusoy MG, Koηer U, Atalay FO, et al. Evaluation and management of exposed high-density porous polyethylene implants: An experimental study. J Craniofac Surg 2006;17:1129-36.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Sevin K, Askar I, Saray A, Yormuk E. Exposure of high-density porous polyethylene (Medpor; ) used for contour restoration and treatment. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2000;38:44-9.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Gruber R. Re: The use of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (Gore-Tex) in rhinoplasty. Aesthetic Plast Surg 2007;31:349.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Gosau M, Draenert FG, Ihrler S. Facial augmentation with porous polyethylene (Medpor): Histological evidence of intense foreign body reaction. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater 2008;87:83-7.   Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Inanli S, Sari M, Baylancicek S. The use of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (Gore-Tex) in rhinoplasty. Aesthetic Plast Surg 2007;31:345-8.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.Peled ZM, Warren AG, Johnston P, Yaremchuk MJ. The use of alloplastic materials in rhinoplasty surgery: A meta-analysis. Plast Reconstr Surg 2008;121:85e-92e.  Back to cited text no. 7      


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article


Site Map  |  Home  |  Contact Us  |  Feedback  |  Copyright and Disclaimer
Online since 11th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow