Types of Nerve Transfer Procedures For Facial Paralysis
The Facial Paralysis Institute is home to some of the best treatments and surgical procedures available for sufferers of Bell’s palsy and facial paralysis. Depending on the severity and longevity of the case in question, there are multiple options a person has for undergoing surgery to regain facial animation. Dr. Azizzadeh, expert facial paralysis surgeon, often utilizes the masseter facial nerve transfer as well as the trigeminal facial nerve transfer, both of which are discussed in detail below.
Masseter To Facial Nerve Transfer (Trigeminal Nerve Transfer)
If a patient wishes to undergo facial paralysis surgery and has been experiencing the condition for less than three years time, undergoing a masseter nerve transfer may provide optimal results for facial reanimation. During the procedure, an experienced facial paralysis surgeon makes an incision near the front of the ear. After the facial nerve is found and has been tested to assure no functionality, the branches of the nerve can be prepped for surgical connection to the masseter nerve.
After completion of the masseter to facial nerve transfer, a patient is expected to experience results from the procedure in the next several months to a year. During this time, physical therapy can benefit facial reanimation tremendously.
Cross Facial Nerve Graft
If an individual's facial muscles have been permanently affected by facial paralysis, performing a cross facial nerve graft is the gold standard for facial reanimation in patients under the age of 65. This operation takes advantage of the normal functioning facial nerve on the opposite side of the paralysis. In the first stage of the operation, a nerve is transplanted from the ankle area and attached to a small branch of the normally functioning facial nerve. The second stage of the procedure involves transferring a muscle from the inner thigh (gracilis) to the paralyzed side of the face and attaching its nerve to the sural nerve via a microscope. By doing this, when the person smiles, the normal facial nerve moves the paralyzed side spontaneously and emotionally. The results from this procedure typically take between 6-18 months to be realized.
Hypoglossal Facial Nerve Transfer
One of the most effective and consistent facial reanimation procedures performed at the Facial Paralysis Institute is the Hypoglossal Facial Nerve Transfer. This is a well-established operation that is often utilized with the cross facial nerve graft. The concept is similar to the masseteric-facial nerve transfer, but instead of using the masseteric nerve, the surgeon attaches the hypoglossal nerve to the non-working facial nerve. The hypoglossal nerve is normally used to move the tongue, and as a result, is extremely powerful which helps give reanimation back to the face, improve symmetry, and help with facial movements. Typically, results are seen over the course of the next six months.
Speak With Dr. Azizzadeh About Your Options Today
If you or a loved one is suffering from facial paralysis or long term Bell’s palsy and would like to learn more about the best options for facial reanimation, including masseter to facial nerve transfer and cross facial nerve graft procedures, Dr. Azizzadeh encourages you to contact the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills today to schedule your initial consultation by calling (310) 657-2203. Dr. Azizzadeh is a board certified otolaryngologist with an extreme training and knowledge in performing facial paralysis surgery’s that can provide patients with the most optimal outcomes possible.
For additional information on the four types of nerve transfer procedures that can benefit sufferers of facial paralysis or Bell’s palsy, please contact the Facial Paralysis Institute today.
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