The Woman Who Couldn’t Smile
Recently in the news, a story surfaced about a woman from New York who, from birth, has been unable to smile or make many facial expressions. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she discovered that the facial paralysis was caused by a rare medical condition called Moebius Syndrome. Moebius Syndrome is a rare type of congenital facial paralysis that left the woman’s face with a blank, unemotional look from the time she was born.
When she was 17, facial reanimation surgery was performed to give her face some limited movement and a less droopy appearance. She underwent a temporalis transfer, which moves the chewing muscle from near the scalp to the corner of the mouth. This muscle transplant gave her the ability to make a smile-like expression when she bites down and clenches her jaw. Facial paralysis also prohibited her eyes from closing completely, so she had a goldweights placed in her eyelids as part of her treatment. Now, unfortunately, she sees signs of the condition in her oldest son. Through the work of facial paralysis experts like Dr. Azizzadeh, though, there is hope that her son can experience facial reanimation, too.
What Is Moebius Syndrome?
Moebius Syndrome was first described in 1884 and is a rare form of facial paralysis that leaves children’s faces lacking in function and expression. Moebius Syndrome can also present itself in the form of strabismus (eyes do not correctly align with each other), significant drooling, or clubfoot. In some cases, only one side of the face is affected and the other side can have restricted movement. Most often, Moebius Syndrome affects both sides of the face and can cause children to have a blank, mask-like appearance.
What Are the Best Treatments for Facial Paralysis?
At The Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills, renowned reconstructive surgeon Dr. Azizzadeh is a Moebius Syndrome expert who encourages patients to seek treatment for their children before they enter school. At the Institute, patients with Moebius Syndrome may be candidates for a gracilis muscle transplant. Located in the inner thigh, the gracilis muscle can be transplanted to the face along with its nerve, artery, and vein. Dr. Azizzadeh attaches the gracilis muscle to the trigeminal nerve in the face, which controls the chewing muscles, and allows patients to regain voluntary movement of their face.
Patients at the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills can also be treated for facial paralysis caused by Bell’s palsy, Acoustic Neuroma, Hemifacial Microsomia, and congenital conditions. The expert team at the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills is well-versed in the treatment of facial nerve disorders. Procedures such as nerve transplants, Botox, facelifts, and facial nerve transfers can be performed to improve the quality of life of patients who suffer from terrible facial nerve disorders.
Schedule a Consultation for Facial Paralysis Treatment Today!
Don’t wait another day to seek the necessary treatment for the debilitating facial paralysis that is affecting you and your family. Contact the office of The Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills by calling (310) 657-2203 and schedule a consultation with facial paralysis expert Dr. Azizzadeh today!
Request your consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh today
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