Modern concepts in facial nerve reconstructionReport as inadecuate

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Head and Face Medicine

, 6:25

First Online: 01 November 2010Received: 09 August 2010Accepted: 01 November 2010


BackgroundReconstructive surgery of the facial nerve is not daily routine for most head and neck surgeons. The published experience on strategies to ensure optimal functional results for the patients are based on small case series with a large variety of surgical techniques. On this background it is worthwhile to develop a standardized approach for diagnosis and treatment of patients asking for facial rehabilitation.

ConclusionA standardized approach is feasible: Patients with chronic facial palsy first need an exact classification of the palsy-s aetiology. A step-by-step clinical examination, if necessary MRI imaging and electromyographic examination allow a classification of the palsy-s aetiology as well as the determination of the severity of the palsy and the functional deficits. Considering the patient-s desire, age and life expectancy, an individual surgical concept is applicable using three main approaches: a early extratemporal reconstruction, b early reconstruction of proximal lesions if extratemporal reconstruction is not possible, c late reconstruction or in cases of congenital palsy. Twelve to 24 months after the last step of surgical reconstruction a standardized evaluation of the therapeutic results is recommended to evaluate the necessity for adjuvant surgical procedures or other adjuvant procedures, e.g. botulinum toxin application. Up to now controlled trials on the value of physiotherapy and other adjuvant measures are missing to give recommendation for optimal application of adjuvant therapies.


MRIMagnetic resonance imaging.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1746-160X-6-25 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Gerd F Volk - Mira Pantel - Orlando Guntinas-Lichius


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