What is included in the follow-up care of congenital facial paralysis?

Updated: Jan 07, 2019
  • Author: Alan D Bruns, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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After facial reanimation, return of some function has been found to occur within 18 months. Long-term treatment involves evaluating for any donor site morbidity, including tongue atrophy in patients with facial nerve–hypoglossal nerve transposition, difficulty with mastication in patients with masseter or temporalis transfer, and examination of the donor sites for greater auricular or sural nerve grafts. Routine ophthalmologic examinations and physical therapy for facial expression exercises are included in the long-term treatment of patients. As the child ages, biofeedback can be used to facilitate training of the mimetic musculature after cable grafts, facial nerve–hypoglossal nerve transposition, and muscle transfers. In children with developmental facial nerve paralysis who often have other congenital abnormalities, attention to appropriate weight gain and developmental milestones is necessary.

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