Facial paralysis, either from Bell’s palsy, trauma, or after complex surgeries, can be a functional and cosmetically debilitating, life-altering condition. Our perception and interaction with others is dependent on our muscles of facial expression, and restoration of function and improvement in facial symmetries can provide significant improvement in quality of life.
What are my options?
A thorough history and examination with us is key to developing a plan. We must first evaluate the extent of your facial paralysis, as there are different options for each group of muscles. Testing is sometimes necessary to assess whether function will return, and whether the paralysis is partial or complete.
The upper eyelids and eyebrow often respond well to lifting procedures, while the lower eyelids, cheek, and lower face respond well to skin and muscle tightening procedures. Sometimes, nerve grafts and muscle reanimations can partially restore facial function. The surface of the eye must be evaluated to ensure that inadequate blinking is not leading to severe dryness, and the mouth and smile can be addressed to improve chewing and the smile. Some patients develop spasms in their muscles after of facial paralysis, which can be addressed by botulinum toxin (Botox, Xeomin, Dysport) injections. <link to hemifacial spasm page>
Does insurance cover these problems?
Health insurance often covers assessment, medical management, and some surgeries after facial paralysis. Please check with us to see if insurance will cover issues related to your medical condition. A unique treatment plan must be designed for each patient to specifically address the problematic areas. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss how to address your concerns.