What is Moebius Syndrome?
Facial Paralysis can be devastating for people of any age, but especially for young children. Moebius Syndrome is a rare, congenital neurological disorder that presents a variety of complications and visible symptoms. Because the condition is caused by the underdevelopment or absence of the 6th and 7th cranial nerves, the main sign of Moebius Syndrome is the inability to control facial expressions and eye movement. Patients with Moebius syndrome typically have trouble smiling, frowning, sucking, grimacing, and blinking their eyes. Additionally, this syndrome can affect other cranial nerves that can cause skeletal, respiratory and speech problems.
SIGNS OF MOEBIUS SYNDROME
Moebius Syndrome can present at various levels, with some patients experiencing symptoms at different degrees. However, the most common signs include:
- Inability to suck at birth
- Excessive drooling
- Trouble eating & swallowing
- Cleft palate
- Lack of facial expression
- Crossed eyes/eye sensitivity
- Physical deformities
The most prominent symptom is facial paralysis. Unfortunately, children with Moebius syndrome can’t make standard facial expressions. They are unable to smile, frown, and raise their eyebrows. Aside from the physical difficulty, facial paralysis often creates extremely challenging psychological challenges as well. As children born with Moebius syndrome begin to grow up, they realize that their face works differently than those around them. Treatment options should be explored before the child enters school to help minimize the psychological ramifications that come along with this disorder.
Facial nerve expert Dr. Babak Azizzadeh has helped countless patients with Moebius syndrome improve their facial paralysis and overall quality of life. Since his extensive and prestigious training at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Azizzadeh has helped hundreds of patients with varying forms of facial paralysis. Dr. Azizzadeh founded The Facial Paralysis Foundation in 2003 which offers support and education to people affected by facial paralysis. Dr. Azizzadeh has become world-renowned for his facial nerve expertise and has been featured in various media outlets including the Oprah Winfrey Show. Dr. Azizzadeh is widely recognized for his results with microsurgical facial reconstruction which is often required for patients that are born with facial paralysis. Most recently, Dr. Azizzadeh has been asked to host the International Facial Nerve Symposium in 2017 which is considered one of the biggest honors in the field of facial paralysis.
MOEBIUS SYNDROME TREATMENT
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Moebius Syndrome, but there are treatment options to help with some of the side effects of the condition. Individual treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms, but many patients do undergo surgery to help gain some degree of facial reanimation. Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS of the Facial Paralysis Institute is a world-renowned doctor, known for his facial paralysis expertise. He has helped give many children with Moebius Syndrome the ability to smile.
Dr. Azizzadeh encourages parents to consider the various treatment options for their child’s Moebius Syndrome before the child reaches school age to prevent the negative psychosocial effects of facial paralysis. To treat the paralysis caused by Moebius Syndrome, he typically uses a microsurgical trigeminal-gracilis muscle transfer to achieve optimal facial reanimation results. During this procedure, Dr. Azizzadeh takes the gracilis muscle from the child’s inner thigh and attaches it to the trigeminal nerve in the face. The procedure is performed over the course of a few stages, but, when completed, will allow the child to voluntarily control their facial movement.
Depending on your child’s individual condition, Dr. Azizzadeh may be able to offer other surgical treatments as well to address some of the facial deformities often caused by the disorder. Contact the Facial Paralysis Institute to schedule a consultation.
CONTACT AN EXPERT MOEBIUS SYNDROME DOCTOR
If your child was born with the neurological disorder Moebius Syndrome and is suffering from the resulting facial paralysis, contact the facial paralysis experts in Los Angeles today to schedule a consultation by calling (310) 657-2203. Dr. Azizzadeh is internationally recognized for his expertise in treating facial paralysis and loves nothing more than to put a smile on a child’s face.
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