Facial paralysis is a complex issue and the specific treatment required depends greatly on the cause of the paralysis. For most patients with Bell’s palsy, the facial paralysis is temporary, but sometimes the facial nerve is permanently damaged and requires surgical intervention. Other facial paralysis patients may also benefit from surgical treatment. Facial Nerve Decompression is a procedure that may help some living with permanent facial paralysis regain facial function and a more symmetrical appearance.
Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS is the Director of the Facial Paralysis Institute and a world-renowned facial paralysis expert. He is highly regarded for his expertise in the field and has even appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Doctors for his groundbreaking work in the treatment of facial paralysis. At the Facial Paralysis Institute in Los Angeles, Dr. Azizzadeh and his team strive to bring their facial paralysis patients the highest quality care and the most innovative treatments available.
What is Facial Nerve Decompression?
Facial nerve decompression is performed when the facial nerve is being compressed in the bony canal of the temporal bone. In some cases, the facial nerve becomes so inflamed as to be pressed, or cramped, within the confined space of the bony canal. When facial nerve decompression is indicated and performed by an experienced facial paralysis surgeon, releasing the pressure on the nerve can lead to gradual improvement in facial paralysis symptoms.
Generally, facial nerve decompression is performed through a middle fossa craniotomy and/or through the mastoid bone behind the ear. Pieces of the bone are removed so that the inflamed facial nerve can expand and the pressure that may be causing some of the facial paralysis symptoms is relieved. Depending on the individual case, the surgeon may perform the procedure through the middle cranial fossa method or a mastoidectomy, or a combination of the two.
Who is a Candidate for Facial Nerve Decompression?
Facial nerve decompression is typically indicated for patients with permanent facial palsy in which the facial nerve is intact, but is inflamed and compressed within the bones of the face. This can be present in patients with facial paralysis as a result of traumatic injury, infection, or Bell’s palsy. Facial nerve decompression is generally indicated after other less invasive treatments for the symptoms of facial palsy have been attempted.
An optimal result after facial nerve decompression surgery is seen about one year after surgery. Blood work, imaging (MRI and/or CT scans), and other tests such as EMG and ENoG are often performed to determine if facial nerve decompression is a good treatment option. Schedule a consultation with the Los Angeles facial paralysis expert Dr. Babak Azizzadeh to see if you are a candidate for facial nerve decompression.
Contact the Los Angeles Facial Paralysis Expert for a Consultation
If you or someone you love is living with permanent facial paralysis, facial nerve decompression surgery may be able to restore facial function. Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS is one of the best facial paralysis surgeons in the world and an expert in procedures to restore facial function such as facial nerve decompression. Call Dr. Azizzadeh at the Facial Paralysis Institute at (310) 657-2203 today to schedule a consultation and find out if facial nerve decompression may be able to help you.
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