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Dual Coaptation Of Facial Nerve Using Masseteric Branch Of Trigeminal Nerve For Iatrogenic Facial Palsy: Preliminary Reports

Yoon Hyeong Lee, J. H. Ahn, H. J. Park, H. Lee, Mi Rye Bae, Jong-Lyel Roh, S. Choi, S. Nam, S. B. Kim
Published 2019 · Medicine

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Objectives: Immediate facial nerve substitution or graft technique has been used for the repair of facial nerve defects occurring as a result of tumour dissection. However, some patients report unsatisfactory outcomes, such as difficulty in maintaining resting or smiling symmetry, due to persistent flaccid facial palsy. Here we evaluated the functional outcomes of transferring the masseteric branch of the trigeminal nerve to the facial nerve adjunct to facial nerve graft. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of seven patients who underwent facial reanimation surgery between 2014 and 2016. The patients were divided into two groups according to the type of facial reanimation surgery: group A, masseteric nerve innervation with interposition graft; group B, interposition graft only. The postoperative resting symmetry and dynamic movement were compared. Results: Facial contraction was first observed in group A at 4 months and in group B at 7.3 months. Most of the patients achieved reliable resting symmetry; however, one patient in group B exhibited unsatisfactory facial weakness on the affected side. Group A patients showed better dynamic movement than group B patients. Eye closure, oral excursion and oral continence were better in group A than in group B patients. Smile symmetry in both groups was similar due to hyperkinetic movement in group A patients and flaccidity in group B patients. Conclusions: Dual innervation of the masseteric branch of the trigeminal nerve improves the dynamic movement of paralysed facial muscles and shortens the recovery period in patients with iatrogenic facial palsy.
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