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Current thoughts and developments in facial nerve reanimation

Faris, Calluma; Lindsay, Robinb

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: August 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 346–352
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e328362a56e
FACIAL PLASTIC SURGERY: Edited by Julian M. Rowe-Jones and Travis Tollefson

Purpose of review To present the most current literature regarding the management of acute and chronic facial paralysis. This review will focus primarily on smile reanimation in the setting of acute and chronic facial paralysis. The management of the flaccid and the hypertonic face will be discussed.

Recent findings Recent developments include advances in neural repair with fibrin glue and the use of cadaveric nerve grafts as interposition grafts. Advances in nerve substitutes have been shown to limit donor-site morbidity and provide similar outcomes to autografts. Techniques for muscle transfer continue to evolve to improve smile outcomes.

Summary The goal of facial reanimation surgery is to restore meaningful facial movement. The goal should be to have quality-driven clinical practice guidelines to better facilitate patient care. This process must be initiated by facial reanimation surgeons deciding to use consistent outcome measures to report their results. Currently, it is impossible to make a direct comparison between different surgical techniques because of inconsistent methods of evaluation. Despite the lack of consistent quantitative evaluation, there have been many exciting advances in the field.

aDepartment of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham, UK

bDepartment of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence to Robin Lindsay, MD, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA. Tel: +1 617 573 3778; fax: +1 617 573 3727; e-mail:

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