Is there any hazard of facial nerve damage in excision of a nevus at the side of the eye? (photo)

I guess that there's a minimal risk of nerve damage. Is the use of 'facial nerve monitoring' appropriate in this situation as means to mitigate this risk? Can a surgeon assess for sure if there's a nerve that may get damaged there? In case of demage shouldn't peripheral nervous system be able to regenerate?

Doctor Answers 2

Facial nerve injury risk for a small mole removal

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Certainly, any facial nerve injury is a very big deal, because, as you know, the facial nerve controls facial expression. The "facial nerve - cranial nerve VII" enters the face slightly in front of the ear hole and about 1 inch below the skin at that point.  It ultimately divides into 5 branches that serve the 21 named muscles of facial expression.  The uppermost branch, the temporal branch, crosses up into the forehead ~1/2" back from the location of your mole. That temporal nerve is covered at that point by skin, dermis, subcutaneous fat, and finally, a layer of "fascia".  Unless the person removing your mole is ridiculously reckless, there is essentially no way that nerve could be injured, and there is no need for facial nerve monitoring. With a board-certified facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist, you should have no worries.


Dover Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Mole Removal Facts--See an expert

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A mole removal is usually a very shallow procedure. While a nerve could be affected afterwards, this would be very rare. I suggest seeing a cosmetic dermatologist for a formal evaluation. Moles can be removed with either lasers, radiowave or shave. See an expert to minimize scarring. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

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