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September 1965

Facial Nerve Repair Using a Vein Graft Cylinder

Author Affiliations

From the University of St. Andrews, Dundee Royal Infirmary, senior ear, nose, and throat surgeon.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;82(3):267-269. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00760010269009

THE FACIAL nerve is liable to damage in head injuries, ear operations, or in the removal of tumors, especially malignant neoplasms, involving adjacent structures. If the nerve is divided, repair may be effected by joining the cut ends, with or without the insertion of a nerve graft; in either event conduction of nerve impulses will take place only if the continuity of the nerve fibers is restored at the site of injury.

When any peripheral nerve is divided the axons in the distal segment degenerate; at the same time there is a marked proliferation of the Schwann cells which grow proximally in an attempt to bridge the defect by joining up with the Schwann cells growing from the proximal segment. The proximal axons, which are in continuity with the parent nerve cells, sprout distally, and, in favorable circumstances, send shoots into the mass of Schwann cells. Some of the shoots