Selective neurectomy for nonflaccid facial palsy : Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery

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Selective neurectomy for nonflaccid facial palsy

Ovaitt, Alyssa K.; Chweya, Cynthia M.; Flynn, John

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Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery 31(4):p 244-247, August 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000898


Purpose of review 

To review the evolving role of selective neurectomy in the management of patients with synkinesis including the history of selective neurectomy, operative techniques, and clinical outcomes.

Recent findings 

Modified selective neurectomy alone or in conjunction with other procedures achieves more durable outcomes based on objective measures such as time to recurrence of symptoms and units of botulinum toxin required postoperatively. This is also reflected on patient reported quality of life outcome measures. Regarding operative technique, lower rates of oral incompetence are reported with division of an average of 6.7 nerve branches as opposed to more branches.


Chemodenervation has long been the mainstay of treatment in facial synkinesis, but in recent years, the paradigm has begun to shift in favor of incorporating interventions with more durable outcomes such as modified selective neurectomy. Modified selective neurectomy is often performed with other simultaneous surgeries such as nerve transfer, rhytidectomy, lid surgery and static facial reanimation primarily to address periocular synkinesis and synkinetic smile. The outcomes have been favorable with improvement in quality-of-life measures and a decrease in botulinum toxin requirements.

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