Introduction: The aim of the study was to investigate the necessity of routine post-operative radiographic analysis in patients with maxillofacial trauma. Also the available data in the literature concerning post-operative radiography in maxillofacial trauma was reviewed.
Material and methods: All patients presented at our hospital from January 2000 to January 2010 with maxillofacial trauma were identified. The inclusion criteria were: patients with maxillofacial fractures surgically treated. The hospital and outpatient records were reviewed and analysed retrospectively. Data collected are type of maxillofacial trauma, type and amount of post-operative analysis taken, open or closed reduction, surgical retreatment and cause of retreatment.
Results: Between January 2000 to January 2010 in total 579 patients were treated surgically for 646 maxillofacial fractures. The incidence of surgical retreatments based on post-operative radiographs after maxillofacial trauma were investigated. In total 16 patients needed surgical retreatment. The decision to revise was based on the post-operative imaging alone at one patient (0.2%). 6 useful studies concerning post-operative radiography in maxillofacial trauma were available for review. After combining the results of our institute with the results of the 6 reviewed studies in total 1956 patients underwent surgery for correction of a maxillofacial fracture. 25 patients returned to the operating theatre for correction of the initial procedure (1.3%).
Conclusion: Performing routine post-operative radiographs is not necessary after surgical treatment of maxillofacial trauma. Avoiding performing routine post-operative radiographs will lead to a reduction in exposure of patients to ionising radiation, a reduction of costs and a more efficient discharge.
Conflict of interest: None declared.