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At the recent meeting of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Palm Beach, Fla, Dr Harvey Tucker, Cleveland, presented his experience using a nerve muscle pedicle flap for reinnervation of the lower face in complete facial paralysis. The study, which extended from 1976 to the present, included 68 patients.
The ipsilateral ansa hypoglossi nerve with attached strap muscle was sutured to paralyzed perioral muscles. Details of the surgical technique were previously reported. Patients were evaluated in three- to four-month intervals for over two years using May's six-point scale.
Of the patients described, 91% showed useful reanimation as follows: better muscle tone, improved symmetry at rest, and some voluntary movement. Only three patients developed complications, and these were all minor wound infections.
Dr Tucker pointed out that the primary advantages of this procedure are as follows: the facial nerve is not disturbed, so that spontaneous return of
ADAMS J. Long-term Experience With Nerve Muscle Pedicle Reinnervation of the Paralyzed Face. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(12):1364. doi:10.1001/archotol.1988.01860240014004
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