What are the possible outcomes of facial nerve repair?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: Tang Ho, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

After facial nerve repair, residual weakness and synkinesis are guaranteed. A House-Brackman grade III is the best possible result. Certain factors, including older age at time of repair, long grafts, and extended delay between time of injury and repair appear to limit the functional outcome of repair.

The vast majority of patients experience improved symmetry and tone after primary nerve repair or cable nerve grafting. More than 90% have better tone and symmetry after hypoglossal facial crossover. Training is required to help these patients learn to produce a smile by stimulating the hypoglossal nerve.


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