What can you do with patients who develop nerve Injury?
In most patients, nerve injuries tend to be caused on only one side of the face. Asymmetrical looking, partially paralyzed faces and other nerve injuries suffered by patients are typically caused due to facial trauma or conditions like “Bell’s Palsy”, which is a viral infection. Even though these patients may eventually recover, they are often left with residual deformity, especially around the eyebrow and upper eyelid area. These areas of the face do not recover as well as the lower facial area.
In addition, patients who have had surgery to remove facial tumors may suffer from facial deformity. If the removed tumors were either invading the nerve of facial expression or were closely located to it, then during the surgery, the injuries or damages caused to the nerve can result in deformity. In most occasions, such damage to the nerve affects an entire side of the face rendering every facial muscle on that side to not work. As a result of such an injury, most patients will not be able to have a symmetric smile, blink their eye on one side and their brow may droop a quite a bit. With these types of patients, surgeons start their treatment by taking action to protect the eye. In order to provide the patient with the ability to close the eye, a reconstructive surgery is performed to tape the corner of the eye and place some type of weight under the upper eyelid.
In the initial stages, surgical treatment to the nerve is not done. With time, when the patient is left with an asymmetrical face, a brow lift surgery is done on both the sides. Following the brow lift, patients are further subjected to an eyelid surgery in order to optimize the eye opening and also to treat the residual droopiness of the upper eyelid. By tightening the muscle, the affected eye is given a more symmetrical appearance. Furthermore, a facelift procedure may also be done to lift the droopiness of the affected side of the face.