Hi, this is Dr. Kulbersh with Charlotte Facial Plastics. Today we're going to talk about using Botox for patients that didn't get a complete recovery after Bell's palsy. Bell's palsy is a condition where half of the face goes paralyzed due to an unknown source. Sometimes we think it's due to a virus, sometimes it can be due to inflammation, sometimes it can be due to blood flow issues. We really don't know the cause.

The vast majority of people get a full recovery from Bell's palsy, but there is a subset that do not get a full recovery. Those patients then lose the ability to individually move the muscles of the face and then it develops something we call synkinesis. There are different levels of synkinesis. There's mild, moderate, and severe. When you have mild synkinesis, it can just be the eyebrow doesn't move as well or when we smile, the smile's a little bit asymmetric. Moderate synkinesis is when we smile, sometimes the eye gets narrowed or the face just looks tensed. And then in severe synkinesis, the whole side of the face, the muscles are unable to relax, so the whole side of the face has a very tense, contracted look to their face and they're not able to move the whole side of the face well because the muscles are contracting the whole time.

Many people don't realize that there are treatments for synkinesis after Bell's palsy. One of the best treatments we can do is actually using Botox to help relax and create increased symmetry of the face. Typically what will happen is that, if the forehead is off during animation, if we can create the forehead, if we can create the eye to be more symmetric, if we can create the smile to be more symmetric, those are all ways that we can use Botox to improve those areas.

This is not something that is done by common people that do Botox. It's a very specialized procedure, and this procedure has to be tailored for the specific person and the type of synkinesis they have. But I think it's well worth that people should realize that if they have synkineses, that Botox could be a great option to improve their quality of life.

Surprising Uses For Botox: Treat Facial Paralysis From Bell's Palsy

Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh explains how an expert with in facial paralysis can use Botox to treat the synkinesis associated with Bell's palsy.