Facial Paralysis Reconstruction
My face has been damaged from facial paralysis. What are my options?
The muscles of your face have the important task of expressing your feelings to other people. From smiling to scowling, a simple expression can convey a world of information. When these muscles become paralyzed, the consequences can be drastic. Beyond loss of expression, issues such as drying of the eye and drooling can occur.
Facial paralysis occurs after damage to the facial nerve. This can occur after an infection such as Bell’s palsy, after traumatic injuries, from cancers along the course of the nerve and other less common reasons. The cause and timing since injury is important for treatment. We try to promote recovery with medication and exercises, but sometimes the damage can be permanent.
Some surgical options involve using nerve tissue bridges to bring nerve impulses back to the muscles. When this is not an option, we address different regions of the face with various surgical techniques. If the eye will not close, a weight implant in the upper lid will allow gravity to help shut the eye. If the side of the the mouth droops, transferring a muscle attachment from the jaw to the corner of the mouth will restore support and mimic a smile.
The options are complex and are determined on a case by case basis. If you suspect an issue with the facial nerve, contact a physician as soon as possible. If there are any issues with complete recovery,