The facial nerve is the seventh cranial nerve that controls many expressions. One nerve is present on each side of the face. Facial nerve repair is required in people who have experienced nerve paralysis due to an accident, trauma, resection during other surgery, etc. If the facial nerve gets injured, the facial muscles responsible for producing facial expression will atrophy and become irreversibly scarred.
To prevent and reverse muscle dysfunction, the facial nerve can be repaired. It is important to repair the facial nerve on time to prevent permanent damage. Different procedures are used for facial nerve repair that can help restore the function of the facial nerve.
Symptoms of Facial nerve damage
People suffering from facial nerve damage may experience some symptoms such as weakness, twitching, and paralysis of the facial muscles. The important symptoms of facial nerve damage are given below:
Watering from the eye on the affected side
Inability to close the eye properly
Dryness of mouth
Deviation of the mouth to the other side
Absence of smile lines on the affected side
Dribbling of saliva from the mouth
Absence of wrinkles on the affected side
Causes of facial nerve damage
The main causes of facial nerve damage include the following:
Any kind of trauma such as a skull fracture, injury to the ear, or face during other surgery can result in nerve damage.
Disorders of the nervous system such as stroke
Tumours of the nerve or brain
Bell’s palsy or facial nerve paralysis
Infection of the ear or face especially due to herpes
Types of Facial nerve repair
Different types of facial nerve repair used for different cases are explained below:
Hypoglossal nerve transfer
The hypoglossal nerve helps in the movement of the tongue. It is an effective nerve that helps in restoring facial symmetry when used for facial nerve repair. In this process, the surgeon will identify the hypoglossal nerve before it enters the tongue. The injured facial nerve is connected to the hypoglossal nerve. The hypoglossal nerve grows along with the facial nerve to restore the function of facial muscles. The results may be seen after 5-6 months.
Cross facial nerve graft
In this process, the surgeon will reverse the function of the facial nerve by taking axons from the other side of the face that grow across the face on the damaged side to promote facial movement. The benefit of this process is that it results in immediate restoration of facial movement. This procedure can be done as an outpatient procedure.
Direct Facial nerve repair
In this process, the surgeon identifies the end that is injured; he will clean the end and suture them directly after aligning them properly. If the ends cannot be connected, he will use a nerve graft to make a connection.
Masseteric nerve transfer
This process is the best option for stimulating the facial muscles when the facial nerve cannot be accessed. The masseter nerve lies next to the facial nerve therefore it helps in the quick recovery of facial nerve injury. This process can show results in 3-4 months.
Reasons for Facial nerve repair
Facial Nerve Repair Treatment in Hyderabad is used for injuries to the facial nerve and other problems such as facial paralysis
The main purpose of seeking Facial Nerve Repair Treatment in Hyderabad is to reduce the time between nerve injury and its reconstruction. The sooner the surgery can be done, the better are the chances of a quick and successful recovery of the facial nerve.
Atrophied muscle tissues of the face do not respond to this treatment therefore it becomes important that the main muscles present in the paralyzed part of the face should keep functioning. The nerve may be repaired after extended time has passed but the results may not be as required.
You will schedule an appointment with the doctor at the CARE Hospitals. The doctor will examine your face to determine the nerve and muscle function and to know the outcomes of the surgery. The doctor at the CARE Hospitals will explain to you the different procedures for facial nerve repair. After discussion, you and your doctor can choose the best procedure for facial nerve surgery.
Facial nerve repair surgery is done under general anaesthesia. You may have to stay in the hospital overnight for observation and recovery.
The surgeon will perform the required procedure as per the individual needs of the person. After surgery, a dressing is applied and a drain may be used to remove excess fluids.
You may have to stay at the hospital overnight after surgery for recovery. The next day you may go back home. The swelling may occur and it may remain for a few days.
Bruising may last for 5-10 days at the site of surgery.
You are asked to take over-the-counter pain medicines to reduce pain and discomfort.
Risks of facial nerve repair
Any surgery is associated with some risks such as bleeding, swelling, infection, and long-term interaction with other medicines.
After the surgery, a person may experience sensitivity changes to the affected area.
Nerve grafts can also result in sensitivity changes to the site from where a nerve graft is taken.
Regeneration of a nerve is a gradual process and it may take a few months for complete recovery depending on the severity of the injury and the type of procedure used for the repair.
In some cases, complete recovery may take years.
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