IN HEAD and neck surgery, as in other areas, the silicones have been making an increasingly important contribution. They are being widely used as implants and also as adjuncts to medical and surgical procedures. Although a self-repairing, permanently functioning tissue graft would be the ideal implant material, yet the problems attendant upon its use are many. Homografts may be in short supply; obtaining autografts may involve a painful secondary operation. Often certain procedures may be accomplished with synthetics in one stage, while the use of autografts may involve several stages. Grafts of living tissue may be absorbed. Artificial implants are readily obtainable, easily shaped and sterilized. For these reasons the synthetics are coming into wider use in surgery.
Nature of the Silicones
The silicones comprise a very large family of materials none of which is found occurring naturally. These polymers, sometimes called dimethylpolysiloxanes, are chemically a succession of units of
MULLISON EG. Silicones in Head and Neck Surgery. Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;84(1):91–95. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760030093009
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