Treating Facial Paralysis

Common problems associated with facial paralysis include asymmetrical smiles and muscle spasms, which can lead to one corner of the mouth not turning up or various forms of synkinesis. At the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Austin, Texas, our board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons specialize in the treatment of facial paralysis. They are dedicated to providing comprehensive care for patients seeking solutions for their symptoms.

What Is Selective Neurolysis?

Selective neurolysis surgery is a procedure designed to improve facial balance and symmetry in patients dealing with partial facial paralysis or synkinesis. During this surgery, specific muscles and nerves affecting mouth movement are addressed. The platysma muscle is released to enhance smiling function, and nerve activity is modified to facilitate more coordinated facial muscle movement. While the procedure may resemble aspects of a facelift, it employs advanced techniques to target and alleviate the symptoms of facial paralysis.

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Why Choose The Buckingham Center For Facial Plastic Surgery?

At the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, we are committed to delivering exceptional medical care and patient satisfaction. We offer a commitment to excellence, including access to a specialized medical team, over two decades of experience in Austin, and our very own state-of-the-art surgical facility.

We pride ourselves on being THE facial anatomy specialists in Austin, employing a science-based approach to address facial issues. Our team comprises uniquely skilled professionals who invest in top-level training, ensuring the best and safest care for each patient. We are passionate about our work and dedicated to providing top-notch care and support.

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Selective Neurolysis Surgery Benefits

  • Enhances the smile and facial symmetry
  • Reduces muscle tightness, thereby improving comfort and natural movement
  • Improves muscle coordination for those experiencing synkinesis

If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of selective neurolysis surgery and discovering if you are a suitable candidate, we encourage you to contact the Buckingham Center in Austin, Texas. Our skilled surgeons are here to provide a thorough evaluation and discuss your treatment options.

What To Expect During The Procedure

Typically, the surgery is conducted under general anesthesia. The procedure commences with the surgeon making an incision in front of your ear, granting access to the muscle, fat, and skin layers and enabling identification of the nerve branches using a nerve stimulator. The surgeon first maps the nerve pattern, identifies the branches contributing to dysfunctional movement, then removes a segment of the nerve and, when necessary, a portion of the platysma muscle to disconnect the nerve-muscle link.

In the lower face, synkinesis creates a downward pull on the mid-face muscles used for smiling. Cutting the nerve to the platysma (neck muscle) and/or the depressor muscle of the lip enhances the effectiveness of smile muscles (elevators). This allows for easier, less effortful smiling with reduced synkinesis. Furthermore, it can alleviate discomfort in the neck and lower face by reducing muscle tightness.

Recovering From Selective Neurolysis

Selective neurolysis is an out-patient procedure, and most patients go home or to a hotel after their surgery. You will have bandages, sutures, and a wound drain. Most individuals are able to walk around on the same day. The drain is usually removed on day 1 or 2 after surgery.

Expect some swelling and bruising, which usually peaks around three to four days post-procedure. Sleeping with your head elevated on pillows and applying ice can be helpful. Sutures are removed at day 7 or 8. Patients can resume light physical activity within 1-2 weeks and vigorous activity at 3 weeks. Post-operative physical therapy is recommended starting 1-2 months after your surgery. The final result can take up to one year.

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Achieving Optimal Facial Function

The primary goal of this procedure is to achieve a permanent transformation in your facial function. While it is a relatively recent development, there is no extensive long-term data regarding the potential reconnection of nerve pathways. However, in the majority of cases, the body does not tend to regenerate nerve branches, leading to the platysma and lip depressor muscles. Therefore, the surgery, combined with therapy, should lead to a lasting enhancement in your smile, facial comfort, and a reduction in synkinesis.

The Ideal Selective Neurolysis Candidate

Typically, the procedure is recommended for patients with lower face synkinesis, especially those dealing with smile asymmetry. It becomes an option when alternative treatments like physical therapy and Botulinum toxin injections have proven insufficient in terms of effectiveness or duration.

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Selective Neurolysis FAQ

How Long Does the Surgery Take?

What Is the Cost of Selective Neurolysis?

Is Selective Neurolysis Painful?

What Does Follow-Up Look Like After the Procedure?

How Long Does the Surgery Take?

The surgery is meticulous and time-consuming due to the intricate nature of nerve location. On average, it takes approximately three hours. However, if the surgery is combined with other procedures, the duration may vary.

What Is the Cost of Selective Neurolysis?

The cost of selective neurolysis can vary based on specific factors and the extent of the procedure. Our team works closely with each patient to provide affordable options.

Is Selective Neurolysis Painful?

Discomfort is common following any medical procedure, and you will receive pain relief medication to alleviate it. It's not uncommon for the area of skin that has been lifted and detached from the muscle during the surgery to temporarily feel numb.

What Does Follow-Up Look Like After the Procedure?

You will be seen in the office one day following surgery for a wound check, and your stitches will be removed one week after surgery. The remaining postoperative visits are variable but usually occur at three months and one year after surgery. If you are traveling from out of town, some of these visits may be able to be performed virtually.

Schedule Your Consultation In Austin Today

Discover the benefits of selective neurolysis and optimize your facial function. Request a consultation with our team at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Austin, Texas, today by calling 512-401-2500. Our specialists are committed to delivering a personalized, tailored experience that caters to your unique goals.

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