Piezosurgery in head and neck oncological and reconstructive surgery: Personal experience on 127 cases

E. Crosetti, B. Battiston, G. Succo

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Piezoelectric bone surgery, known simply as piezosurgery, is a new technique of osteotomy and osteoplasty, which requires the use of microvibrations of ultrasonic frequency scalpels. The principle of piezosurgery is ultrasonic transduction, obtained by piezoelectric ceramic contraction and expansion. The vibrations thus obtained are amplified and transferred onto the insert of a drill which, when rapidly applied, with slight pressure, upon the bony tissue, results, in the presence of irrigation with physiological solution, in the cavitathm phenomenon, with a mechanical cutting effect, exclusively on mineralized tissues. Personal experience with the use of piezosurgery in head and neck oncological and reconstructive surgery is relatively recent, having been developed in 2002-2006, and, so far, involves 127 cases; preliminary results are interesting and improving in the, hopefully, developmental phases of inserts with specific geometries on account of the characteristics of the various aspects of surgical ENT operations. Furthermore, with piezoelectric surgery it has been possible to perform precise osteotomy lines, micrometric and curvilinear with absolute confidence, particularly in close proximity to the vessels and nerves and other important facial structures {dura mater). There can be no doubt, since this is a new cutting method, that piezosurgery involves a different learning curve compared to other techniques, requiring obstacles of a psychological nature to be overcome as well as that concerning surgical expertise. Given the numbers of cases treated and the relative power of this instrument, analysis of complications, intra-operative time (which would appear, on average, to be 20% longer) and, therefore, morbility, shows interesting potentiality of the technique. This new ultrasound cutting method will, no doubt, in the future, be increasingly used in ENT surgery, particularly with improvements in power and geometry of the inserts, with possible applications also in neurosurgery, paediatric surgery and orthopedics, branches in which a selective action upon the mineralized tissues is of fundamental importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalActa Otorhinolaryngologica Italica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Head and neck oncology
  • Head and neck reconstructive surgery
  • Piezosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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