Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surgery 'Reanimates' smile in patients with facial paralysis

Date:
June 20, 2012
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Summary:
A surgical technique using a muscle flap from the thigh restores facial motion —- and the ability to smile —- in patients with facial nerve paralysis resulting from neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), reports a new study.

A surgical technique using a muscle flap from the thigh restores facial motion -- and the ability to smile -- in patients with facial nerve paralysis resulting from neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), reports a study in this month's special "Operative Neurosurgery" supplement to Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Related Articles


Dr. Kalpesh T. Vakharia and colleagues of Harvard Medical School report good results with "smile reanimation" in NF2 patients with facial nerve paralysis. They hope their study will help remind doctors to include facial rehabilitation in their treatment plan for patients with NF2.

Good Results with Gracilis Muscle Flap for 'Smile Reanimation' Neurofibromatosis type 2 is an inherited condition that causes patients to develop noncancerous tumors. Tumors typically occur along the auditory nerve, with the potential to cause hearing loss. When the facial nerve is affected -- by either tumors or surgery to remove them -- facial paralysis commonly results.

In addition to functional problems (such as problems with speech and eating or closing the eye), facial paralysis is a disfiguring condition that takes away facial expressiveness -- including the ability to smile. "Despite the significant impact of facial paralysis on these patients, little attention has been given to the treatment of this in patients with NF2," according to Dr Vakharia and coauthors.

They report their experience with a muscle and nerve transfer technique for restoring facial motion in five patients with NF2 and facial paralysis. All patients had severe paralysis of one side of the face, with drooping and lack of motion at the corner of the mouth (oral commissure) on the paralyzed side. The patients were three men and two women, aged 12 to 50 years; most had facial paralysis as a complication of previous surgery.

To restore facial motion, surgeons transplanted a small flap of muscle from the inner thigh -- the gracilis muscle -- to the face. The gracilis muscle flap, including associated nerve and blood vessels, was used to replace the damaged area causing facial paralysis. Patients received physical therapy during the recovery period after surgery.

The gracilis flap procedure was successful in restoring the patients' ability to smile. Sophisticated geometrical measurements found a significant increase in the ability to lift the oral commissure on the paralyzed side. Just a few millimeters meant the difference between no movement and a natural-looking smile.

"When questioned about their impressions of their faces, the patients uniformly expressed a dramatic improvement in their ability to express happiness nonverbally," the researchers write. Patients also had significant improvement in scores on a quality of life questionnaire.

Some patients said that the procedure restored the ability to smile spontaneously. That's a potentially important advantage, because while other procedures can restore facial motion, the patient has to make a conscious effort to smile.

Although the study is small, it shows that the gracilis muscle flap is an effective treatment for the facial paralysis in patients with NF2, Dr Vakharia and coauthors believe. They remind all professionals involved in the care of patients with this "devastating complication" to incorporate some type of facial rehabilitation therapy into their treatment plan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kalpesh T. Vakharia, Doug Henstrom, Scott R. Plotkin, Mack Cheney, Tessa A. Hadlock. Facial Reanimation of Patients With Neurofibromatosis Type 2. Neurosurgery, 2012; 70: ons237 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31823a819f

Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Surgery 'Reanimates' smile in patients with facial paralysis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120620113031.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2012, June 20). Surgery 'Reanimates' smile in patients with facial paralysis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120620113031.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Surgery 'Reanimates' smile in patients with facial paralysis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120620113031.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins