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Peruvian Journal of Neurosurgery

Aesthetic and psychological outcomes of cranioplasty, polymethyl methacrylate versus titanium mesh

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Introduction: Problems with appearance may negatively affect the mental health of individuals with disfigurement so, cranioplasty has an important role in improving the physical appearance of patients as well as their psychological symptoms.

Objective: This study aims to highlight the aesthetic as well as the psychological outcomes of cranioplasty using the two most widely used synthetic graft materials; polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and titanium mesh.
Methods: This is a prospective study conducted on patients with apparent skull deformity who underwent cranioplasty using PMMA or titanium mesh from April 2016 to April 2017 and were followed up for one year. Patients were assessed preoperatively, at three months, and one year postoperatively using the Derriford Appearance Scale 24 (DAS 24) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS).
Results: 42 patients; 25 males and 17 females were recruited. PMMA was used in 23 patients while titanium mesh was used in 19 patients. There were no significant differences regarding early and late complications between both groups. Revision surgery was necessary in only four cases having equal rates between both groups. There was a marked reduction in DAS 24 and HADS scores postoperatively with better scores in the PMMA group especially at three months after cranioplasty.
Conclusion: Cranioplasty had positive effects on patients' distress regarding their appearance and their psychological symptoms. PMMA had better parameters than titanium mesh. Both PMMA and titanium mesh had comparable aesthetic outcomes with no statistically significant difference regarding the complication rates.
   Keywords: Cranioplasty, Polymethyl methacrylate, Titanium, Physical Appearance, Body, Depression (source: MeSH NLM)