Our facial features are something that conveys our expressions to others. A person can lose his confidence and ability to interact with others if he/she has facial paralysis. Some paralytic patients may look being angry, aloof, or sad. Moreover, some patients lose their ability to perform their senses appropriately. 

It is obvious how daunting facial paralysis can be, and so many patients have been told to keep waiting or to be pleased with the way the results they have. But, with advanced technology, there are several treatments available to improve facial aesthetics. Now, what are those treatments?

We are here to navigate you to the approaches. 

12-7 (Hypoglossal) or 5-7 (Masseter) Nerve Transfer

This procedure may perform within the first two years of nerve injury to balance facial tone and regain some function. The process involves connecting the portion of the hypoglossal or masseteric nerve, to a facial nerve to generate nerve growth of the facial muscles.

Direct Nerve Repair or Nerve Graft

When a section of the facial nerve is injured (dog bite, gunshot, stab injury) or perhaps excised deliberately during surgery while removing cancer, the nerve continuity can be restored. Dr. Azizzadeh can perform sensitive, microsurgery to seam the damaged ends of nerves. 

If the ends do not meet and are not able to be secured together correctly, a "cable graft" may be garnered to help bring the gap between the two ends.

Parotid Surgery

Facial paralysis results in the facial muscles to atrophy or become apparently smaller. Moreover, if a patient has parotid surgery, there can be significant changes in the volume, size, and shape of a patient's face. In these situations, we perform fat grafting, filler injections, or even free flap tissue transfers to improve the shape and help restore a normal appearance.

Face Fillers

There are several surgeries like upper and lower eyelid surgery, botox, rhinoplasty, PRP injection, fillers, and chemical peels, facelift, brow lift, and others help to improve facial aesthetics. All of these procedures help to provide a more rejuvenated appearance, which will help you to look healthier and symmetric. 

Gracilis Muscle Transplant

A small section of muscle from the inner thigh called the gracilis can be gently removed with its artery, vein, and nerve to achieve an even stronger smile. This muscle is repositioned to the face and joined to an artery, vein, and nerve in the face or neck through microvascular surgery. 

After a while, the muscle can move and pull the lip and corners of the mouth, allowing the patient to have a significant smile. 

Another procedure is a cross face nerve graft, where a portion of the facial nerve is taken from the opposite, unparalyzed side of the face to plug into the gracilis muscle. This can provide spontaneity with smiling and laughing. Patients ideally walk on the first day after surgery and can go home just 3-4 days after the surgery.

 A systematic, thoughtful approach is required when evaluating patients with facial paralysis to ensure that no obvious treatment choices are overlooked!