Scientific publications

Masseteric nerve for reanimation of the smile in short-term facial paralysis

Hontanilla B (1), Marre D (2), Cabello A (2).
(1) Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Spain.
(2) Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Spain. 

Magazine: The British Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Date: Feb 1, 2014


Our aim was to describe our experience with the masseteric nerve in the reanimation of short term facial paralysis. We present our outcomes using a quantitative measurement system and discuss its advantages and disadvantages.

Between 2000 and 2012, 23 patients had their facial paralysis reanimated by masseteric-facial coaptation. All patients are presented with complete unilateral paralysis. Their background, the aetiology of the paralysis, and the surgical details were recorded.

A retrospective study of movement analysis was made using an automatic optical system (Facial Clima). Commissural excursion and commissural contraction velocity were also recorded. The mean age at reanimation was 43(8) years. The aetiology of the facial paralysis included acoustic neurinoma, fracture of the skull base, schwannoma of the facial nerve, resection of a cholesteatoma, and varicella zoster infection.

The mean time duration of facial paralysis was 16(5) months. Follow-up was more than 2 years in all patients except 1 in whom it was 12 months. The mean duration to recovery of tone (as reported by the patient) was 67(11) days.

Postoperative commissural excursion was 8(4)mm for the reanimated side and 8(3)mm for the healthy side (p=0.4). Likewise, commissural contraction velocity was 38(10)mm/s for the reanimated side and 43(12)mm/s for the healthy side (p=0.23). Mean percentage of recovery was 92(5)mm for commissural excursion and 79(15)mm/s for commissural contraction velocity.

Masseteric nerve transposition is a reliable and reproducible option for the reanimation of short term facial paralysis with reduced donor site morbidity and good symmetry with the opposite healthy side.

CITATION  Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2014 Feb;52(2):118-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2013.09.017. Epub 2013 Oct 19.

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