All About a Nerve Transplant for Facial Paralysis
Nerve transplants are one of the many cutting-edge procedures performed at the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills. They provide hope for patients who have suffered from long-term facial paralysis and do not know of any methods that can help them regain facial movement. During your comprehensive consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, he’ll assess your facial paralysis with meticulous care and utilize his team of specialists to produce the best possible outcome.
The House Brackmann Grading System
The House Brackmann Grading System is a widely used scale that clinically rates the degree of a patient’s facial function. The best facial paralysis treatment options for the individual patient can then be determined once his or her specific case has been evaluated. “Normal” facial function is classified as “1,” and as a patient’s level of facial paralysis increases, the scale varies from “2 to 6.” “6” denotes no facial movement and full facial paralysis.
Long-Term Facial Paralysis Patients
Patients under the age of 55 who have had long-term facial paralysis may qualify for advanced surgical procedures to recreate dynamic and spontaneous facial movements and smile mechanisms. When patients cannot close their eyes, platinum and gold eyelid weights can be used as a facial paralysis treatment that facilitates eyelid closure. Nerve transplants use the facial nerve in the normal side of the face to “drive” the facial movement in the paralyzed side.
Cross-Facial Nerve Grafts
A consequence of long-term paralysis— facial paralysis for more than two years—is a lack of facial muscle function. Since patients have lost the ability to move their facial muscles, new vascularized muscle needs to be attached to the cross-facial nerve grafts. The cross-facial nerve graft is first implanted on the side of the face where the facial nerve is active. During the second stage of a nerve transplant at the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills, a gracilis muscle free flap is harvested from the inner thigh and attached to the cross-facial nerve graft and artery/vein in the neck.
Once a cross-facial nerve graft has contact with the active facial nerve, the implant learns movement from the active facial nerve over next 8-12 months. Once it is active itself, it can be transferred to the paralyzed side of the face to help restore the patient’s facial movements. Facial movements are gradually realized about 8 months following the second stage of cross-facial nerve graft surgery, and they continue to improve for 2 years. Physical therapy is continued for 18 months.
Schedule a Nerve Transplant Consultation at the Facial Paralysis Institute Today!
To learn more about a nerve transplant for facial paralysis, contact our office to setup an appointment with Dr. Azizzadeh. At the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills, Dr. Azizzadeh and his team of expert surgeons are ready to design a treatment plan for you that will achieve remarkable results. Call (310) 657-2203 today!
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