Frontiers in the Treatment of Facial Paralysis

Pair of doctors (models) examining an x-ray of a patient's skull.

Approximately a month ago, my university asked me to give a talk in a newly created venue called Science Café on the subject of facial paralysis. The goal of this talk was to provide information for all non-medical people from Texas, across the United States, and abroad who are interested in the subject, whether they are simply curious, know someone with facial paralysis, or suffer from facial paralysis themselves.

At the end of the one-hour talk, there was a Q&A session for the audience. Although an hour is a relatively short period of time for covering such a large subject, the main idea was to provide an in-depth introduction to the subject, which could, in turn, create more questions. The talk contained information about the different types of facial paralysis and explained related terms such as flaccid facial paralysis, partial facial paralysis, and synkinesis. It delved into the different treatment options, such as free functional muscle transfers, nerve grafts, selective myectomies, and selective neurectomies. It also discusses the importance of timing for treatment, which is one of the most important considerations when deciding on a treatment strategy.

Obviously, one hour is a long time for most (although I can happily speak about the subject for hours); you can view just parts of it or its entirety in several sessions. To assist you in finding the portions of the talk you are more interested in, refer to the following estimated time points within the video with discussion points. 

Video Highlights

0:00 to 3:20 minutes: General introduction 

3:20 to 9:50: Types of facial paralysis and information about the facial nerve 

9:50 to 10:44: Treatment of facial paralysis (considerations and goals)

10:44 to 11:39:  Importance of timing and duration of paralysis in the treatment of facial paralysis 

11:39 to 13:41: Treating acute facial paralysis 

13:41 to 19:39: Treating sub-acute facial paralysis—nerve transfers and cross-facial nerve grafts 

19:39 to 30:24:  Treating longstanding facial paralysis—free functional muscle transfer (free gracilis muscle transfer) 

30:24 to 36:12: Synkinesis and its treatment 

36:12 to 37:23: Final thoughts 

37:23 to 40:40: Thank you notes 

40:00 to end: Questions and answers 

I hope you find this video valuable and informational. If you or a loved one needs help with the diagnosis or treatment of facial paralysis, Dr. Rozen encourages you to request a consultation using our online form.

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