Practice patterns of virtual surgical planning: Survey of the reconstructive section of the American Head and Neck Society

Brett A. Miles, Caitlin P. McMullen, Larissa Sweeny, Joseph Zenga, Ryan Li, Vasu Divi, Ryan Jackson, Urjeet A. Patel, Jeremy D. Richmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Virtual surgical planning (VSP), with custom made implants and guides represents a recent major advance. Nonetheless, knowledge related to practice patterns is limited. The purpose of this study was to provide data from the AHNS Reconstruction Section related to practice patterns, perceived value of VSP, as well as elucidate specific situations which represent high value for the application of VSP. Materials and methods: A multi-center web-based survey consisting of 30 questions regarding practice patterns related to VSP practices delivered via email to 203 members of the AHNS Reconstructive Surgery Section at institutions across North America. Results: There was a 34% response rate (70/203). A majority of the respondents (96%) used VSP in approximately 50% of their mandibular reconstruction cases, and in 42% of maxillary cases. 46% reported using patient specific implants >75% of cases. Respondents estimated that ~17% of patients received dental implant reconstruction. The majority of respondents (71.0%) did not know the cost of VSP at their institution. The remaining respondents indicated the average cost was $6680 per case. VSP was felt to be necessary as a teaching tool by 55.9%. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that a majority of respondents frequently utilize VSP in their practice for head and neck reconstruction. Complex, multi-unit reconstructions were felt to offer the greatest value when utilizing VSP. Future work should focus on increasing the rates of dental implant reconstruction in this population, optimizing value of VSP with careful case selection, and understanding the educational value and costs of these platforms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103225
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Computerized surgical planning
  • Free tissue transfer
  • Head and neck
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Virtual surgical planning


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