Static sling, Static Suspension, facial paralysis treament
Static suspension can create better facial symmetry as well as improve some of the most difficult side-effects of facial paralysis including drooling and biting of the inner gum. Dr. Babak Azizzadeh typically uses tensor fascia lata (a tendon-like structure from the thighs) to support and create a laugh line. This procedure creates symmetry of the lips, corner of the mouth and laugh line. The procedure is usually performed through a small incision in the scalp and the fascia is placed under the skin where it is not visible. Dr. Azizzadeh is one of the leading surgeons who utilizes this technique.
Tensor Fascia Lata has been used extensively by Dr. Azizzadeh at the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills, California as a facial paralysis treatment. Tensor Fascia Lata is harvested from outer thigh through a minimally invasive incision. Tensor Fascia Lata is an extremely good source of tissue from one’s own body and can be used as multiple slings. Through facelift skin incisions, strips of Tensor Fascia Lata are anchored to the bone on one end and to the laugh line and corner of the mouth at the other end. Endoscopic equipment is utilized to limit all the incisions and, in most patients, allows Dr. Azizzadeh to perform the static sling without making any facial incision. Tensor Fascia Lata is a natural source for sling material and therefore has very limited chance of infection or deterioration.
Alloderm is freeze-dried, acellular human dermis which has also been used extensively by Dr. Azizzadeh for many years with great outcome. The advantage of Alloderm is that a second surgical site is not necessary for harvesting of the material. Alloderm can be customized just like Tensor Fascia Lata and is readily available. Alloderm tends to integrate well with surrounding tissue and has a very limited risk of rejection.
Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (Gore-Tex)
Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (e-PTFE), known commercially as Gore-Tex, is a synthetic material that has also been used in a select group of patients by Dr. Azizzadeh at the Facial Paralysis Institute in Los Angeles, California. Gore-Tex also eliminates the need for harvesting from a second site and is readily available. Gore-tex does carry a higher risk of infection albeit still extremely low.
In a select group of patients, Dr. Azizzadeh has been utilizing a minimally invasive suture suspension technique with great outcome as a substitute for more invasive procedure. Suture technique provides the perfect support for patients who have partial paralysis or Bell’s palsy while undergoing traditional facelift procedures. It can be done through endoscopic midface approach or classic short-flap facelift life approach with the use of advanced endoscopic equipment. Permanent sutures are utilized to achieve the results. This technique was the primary method by which Dr. Azizzadeh treated Mary Jo Buttafuoco on The Oprah Winfrey Show for her devastating facial paralysis. A multivector approach can be utilized to address different regions of the face and mouth.
Do You Qualify for a Static Sling Procedure?
Oftentimes, muscle and nerve transfer procedures are used to address facial paralysis. Or, for some facial paralysis patients, static suspension may prove to be a viable alternative to muscle and nerve transfers.
Dr. Azizzadeh requires a patient consultation to determine if an individual qualifies for a static sling or any other facial paralysis procedure. During a consultation, Dr. Azizzadeh evaluates a patient and learns about his or her facial paralysis symptoms. He also reviews a patient’s medical history and examines the advantages and disadvantages of assorted facial paralysis procedures.
Following a patient consultation, Dr. Azizzadeh offers a personalized facial paralysis treatment recommendation. If Dr. Azizzadeh believes a static sling procedure is the best treatment to address a patient’s facial paralysis symptoms, he next outlines all aspects of the procedure.
How to Prepare for a Static Sling Procedure
A static sling procedure will require a patient to take time off from work or school. The procedure is performed at an outpatient surgery center and the patient can go home the same day as surgery. Meanwhile, a patient will need to take a couple of weeks to recover after a static sling procedure.
At your pre-op appointment, our surgical coordinator will explain in detail how to prepare for your surgery and what to expect during recovery.
How is a Static Sling Procedure Performed?
A static sling procedure is performed under general anesthetic, and it often requires about three hours to complete. During the procedure, Dr. Azizzadeh first removes fascia lata under the skin of a patient’s thigh. Dr. Azizzadeh next makes an incision in front of a patient’s ear and creates a pocket under the cheek’s skin. Then, Dr. Azizzadeh stitches the fascia lata into the proper position around the patient’s mouth. He finally stitches the incisions and places a headband around a patient’s face to limit swelling.
What to Expect During the Static Sling Recovery Process
A static sling patient may experience minor pain and discomfort immediately after surgery. Swelling in the cheek may occur, but this issue usually disappears on its own within about two weeks of surgery.
Typically, a static sling patient can walk around after surgery, but he or she should avoid strenuous physical activities for about six weeks following treatment. A patient may also receive a compression wrap that he or she can use to alleviate swelling during the recovery period.
In some instances, a static sling patient receives a small drain that remains in place for about 24 hours following surgery. This drain prevents fluid build-up underneath the skin.
Dr. Azizzadeh teaches patients about the static sling recovery period prior to treatment. That way, static sling patients know exactly what to expect in the days and weeks after surgery.
Static Sling Risks
Potential complications associated with static sling surgery include:
- Facial asymmetry
- Anesthesia issues
Dr. Azizzadeh explains the risks associated with static suspension procedures before he administers treatment. He helps patients analyze the potential complications associated with static sling surgery. Plus, Dr. Azizzadeh allocates the necessary time and resources to minimize static suspension procedure risks.
Schedule a Static Sling Consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh
If you would like to know more about the static sling and facial paralysis treatment options, schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills surgical expert Dr. Azizzadeh by calling (310) 657-2203 today!