Facial paralysis not only impacts your appearance, but may also affect your vision, ability to eat and speak clearly. The facial paralysis from Bell’s Palsy can often improve on its own to a certain extent but many people live with permanent facial weakness as a result. There are various procedures used to improve the quality of life in patients that suffer from facial paralysis.
Some Options For Facial Paralysis Include:
1. Botox – Although it may sound counter-intuitive to use a medicine that paralyzes muscles, many unwanted effects of facial paralysis include facial muscle spasms, which can be relieved with Botox. This can also be used to relax muscles on the opposite side of the face (the working side) to make them weaker and improve facial symmetry.
2. Gold or platinum weight placement – In patients that cannot close their eye, eye dryness and even loss of vision can occur. By placing a low-profile weight in the upper eyelid, eye closure can be accomplished which allows eye protection.
3. Static Facial Sling procedures – Using connective tissue, usually taken from a small incision in the leg, supporting the corner of the mouth can improve appearance of the smile at rest.
4. Facelift – Sagging tissues may worsen over time as the muscles below the surface weaken. A facelift procedure can be used to improve symmetry of the face by removing excess skin and bulk.
5. Dynamic Facial Reanimation – Various options include free tissue transfer or local tendon transfer from the temporalis muscle. These more complex procedures allow recreation of a smile in patients that have complete facial paralysis.