I have not smiled since 1980 when i had an acoustic neuroma removal. My left eye doesnt blink or tear, my lips are crooked when I talk, I am hearing impaired as well. The left side of my face is paralyzed. I wish I could smile again without being embarassed, is there anything that could give me back at least a smile and some expression on my face?
Acoustic Neuroma Removal
Doctor Answers (5)
Yes there is something that can help you and help you regain symmetry in your face! As a facial plastic surgeon, facial paralysis is an area that I have a particular interest in. Through the combination of the latest surgical and non-surgical techniques, you can regain symmetry of your face, avoid the tightness in your face, and improve your quality of life.
Because the facial nerve has been sacrificed the muscles in the face the nerve innervates have degenerated by now so nerve grafts at this point won't work. Gold or platinum eyelid weights can assist with eye closure. Restoring some degree of facial symmetry consists of two classes of techniques. The first is dynamic when functional muscle is transfered or restoring nerve inputs into existing muscle. Sometimes the chewing muscles in the temple can be reoriented to pull on the upper and lower lips so that the mouth droops less and has some degree of closure. Others have used innervated slips of latissimus dorsi muscle transfered into the face but they would have to be tied into the nerve that goes into the tongue to give any degree of movement. The other techniques to restore symmetry are static when there is no attempt at restoring function but slings are used to lift the face back into position. I would recommend contacting a neuro-otologist at a medical school in your area (that is the surgeon who removes acoustic tumors) because they would probably know a facial plastic or reconstuctive surgeon who has some experience managing patients with facial nerve paralysis. Best of luck and hope this has been helpful.
There are many BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEONS (AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY) that specializes in facial paralysis. Most important is your eye that does not close, need urgent protection and then a permenant solution plan. as for the smile there are many procedures as facial slings available. You might be a candidate for cross facial nerve grafts. (Dr. Julia Trezis) norfok VA.
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Smile Restoration for Facial Palsy after Acoustic Neuroma Surgery
Restoration of a smile and facial animation due to ffacial nerve paralysis or facial palsy has a variety of treatment options. The causes range from trauma to tumor removal to virus such as Bell's Palsy.
The depending on the individual case options include lthe use local muscle flaps such as the masseter or temporalis muscles; fascial suspension grafts, microsurgical reconstruction with cross face nerve grafts and microvascular free muscle transplants.
For eye closure problems a gold weight is often a good solution.
Your case may be best suited for treatment with a gold weight for eye closure, and a cross-face nerve graft with microvascular muscle transplant to restore your smile.
See my website at FacialPalsyCenterofNY.com for more information.
Treatment of facial paralysis
Treatment of facial paralysis is possible no matter how long ago the paralysis began. Unfortunately, there is nothing (yet) that can restore the smile before you had before the tumor was removed, but there are many things that can be done to improve facial symmetry, minimize eye problems, and even give you some sort of smile!
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.