Background: Delayed recovery after facial palsy results in aberrant nerve regeneration with symptomatic movement disorders, summarized as the postparalytic facial nerve syndrome. The authors present an alternative surgical approach for improvement of periocular movement disorders in patients with postparalytic facial nerve syndrome. The authors proposed that endoscopic brow lift leads to an improvement of periocular movement disorders by reducing pathologically raised levels of afferent input.
Methods: Eleven patients (seven women and four men) with a mean age of 54 years (range, 33 to 85 years) and with postparalytic facial nerve syndrome underwent endoscopic brow lift under general anesthesia. Patients’ preoperative condition was compared with their postoperative condition using a retrospective questionnaire. Subjects were also asked to compare the therapeutic effectiveness of endoscopic brow lift and botulinum toxin type A.
Results: Mean follow-up was 52 months (range, 22 to 83 months). No intraoperative or postoperative complications occurred. During follow-up, patients and physicians observed an improvement of periorbital contractures and oculofacial synkinesis. Scores on quality of life improved significantly after endoscopic brow lift. Best results were obtained when botulinum toxin type A was adjoined after the endoscopic brow lift. Patients described a cumulative therapeutic effect.
Conclusions: These findings suggest endoscopic brow lift as a promising additional treatment modality for the treatment of periocular postparalytic facial nerve syndrome–related symptoms, leading to an improved quality of life. Even though further prospective investigation is needed, a combination of endoscopic brow lift and postsurgical botulinum toxin type A administration could become a new therapeutic standard.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.