What is Facial Reanimation?

Children and adults can experience facial paralysis due to malfunctioning of the facial nerve. This nerve is on either side of the face and can affect upper face, lower face, or both. Expression, speaking, eating, and breathing can all be negatively affected by this disease. Facial reanimation can relieve many of the symptoms related to facial paralysis. Congenital defects, trauma, cancer, and viral infections can all cause paralysis.

The Procedure

Both nerve grafting and nerve rejuvenation can be employed to treat this problem in a case-specific manner. Nerve grafting includes taking a nerve from one area of the body to bridge the damaged portion of facial nerve. This technique connects healthy nerves in an effort to allow eventual reanimation. In many cases, the patient may also be missing the muscles of facial expression and a microsurgical transfer of a substitute muscle often in concert with nerve surgery may be required. Patients must keep in mind that every case is unique and outcomes can range from no improvement to near-full functional return.