Reconstructive Surgery For Facial Paralysis

Facial paralysis is a disorder caused by damage to the facial nerve. Stroke and Bell’s Palsy are common causes for facial paralysis. The loss of muscle tone and movement can create a sagging of the cheek, lip, nose, and eyelids. People who suffer from facial paralysis often find that they live with depression and the pain of being self-conscious in the presence of just about any company. With advances in medical surgeries, facial paralysis can be treated through surgery to help reconstruct the asymmetries of the face.

Facial paralysis typically happens on just one side of the face and can be caused by infection of the facial nerve, head trauma, stroke, head or neck tumor, or Bell’s Palsy). Depending on the cause of the paralysis, it may last for a short or extended period of time. There is currently no known cause for Bell’s Palsy, but for most people who are affected they recover from the condition in about six months. Trauma during birth can also cause temporary facial paralysis in some babies, and can be a very scary occurrence for parents. However, 90 percent of babies with paralysis related to birth trauma fully recover without treatment.

If you or someone you love experiences facial pain that is not related to injury, difficulty talking, inability to express emotions (by smiling, looking surprised, etc), drooling, or muscle twitching – it is time to see the doctor. Your doctor will be able to do a series of tests to determine if facial paralysis is occurring and what it is related to.

While 85 percent of people with Bell’s Palsy will recover on their own with or without treatment, studies have shown that taking oral steroids and antiviral medications at immediate onset of facial paralysis will help with complete recovery. For those who do not fully recover, cosmetic surgery can help to restructure the face. Facial paralysis reconstructive procedures have been successful in helping patients heal physically and emotionally.

Posted on behalf of Benjamin Stong, MD, Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC


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