Complications of Static Facial Suspensions With Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE)

Authors

  • Minas Constantinides MD, FACS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Facial Plastic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, U.S.A.
    • Minas Constantinides, MD, FACS, Director of Facial Plastic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine, 530 First Avenue, Suite 7U, New York, NY 10016, U.S.A.
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  • Suzanne K. Doud Galli MD, PhD,

    1. Division of Facial Plastic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, U.S.A.
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  • Philip J. Miller MD, FACS

    1. Division of Facial Plastic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, U.S.A.
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  • Presented as a poster at the Eastern Section Meeting of the Triological Society, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, January 26–28, 2001.

Abstract

Background Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) is a synthetic porous material that has been used for static suspension in facial paralysis. It is manufactured in thin (1-mm or 2-mm) sheets that can be cut into strips and implanted through keyhole facial incisions. Regional deformities are addressed by multiple suspensions that provide cosmetic and functional therapy. The use of ePTFE eliminates donor site morbidity associated with the traditional harvest of fascia from either the temporal area or fascia lata. However, properties unique to this alloplast contribute to the complications that have occurred after its use in facial reanimation.

Objective To describe complications with the use of ePTFE for facial suspension.

Setting Academic medical center.

Method Retrospective chart review and review of literature.

Results Six patients with facial paralysis who were treated with the ePTFE sling procedure had complications. Five slings failed because of stretch despite prestretching at implantation. One patient developed a late wound infection requiring removal of the sling.

Conclusion An ePTFE facial sling is an option for static facial suspension that can be therapeutic for patients with seventh nerve damage. There is a high rate of complications leading to revision surgery. Future studies are needed to evaluate alloplastic alternatives to ePTFE.

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