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August 1961

Surgical Repair Versus Expectant Treatment in Facial Palsy: II. A Final Comment on Papers by Hayes Martin and Helsper

Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;74(2):134-140. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740030139003

When the facial nerve is paralyzed, emotional control of the face as well as voluntary movements are both destroyed. Whereas voluntary movements, as I have stressed over and over again, can be performed if nervous impulses from any suitable center in the brain reach the muscles concerned, emotional control can only be restored if impulses from the facial centers in the brain reach the muscles, because the symmetry and synchronism of the emotional movements of the face are dependent on the close cooperation of the cortical facial centers of both hemispheres.

Consequently, if the facial nerve is injured at an accessible site, it should be repaired as soon as possible, and this may be accomplished by modern facial nerve surgery.

Hayes Martin and Helsper, however, have postulated that following surgical section and sacrifice of a considerable segment of the seventh cranial nerve (including a portion of its main trunk and

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