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Keywords:

  • masseteric nerve cooptation;
  • cross facial nerve grafting;
  • facial nerve;
  • facial animation;
  • facial palsy

Background

The use of facial cross-grafting in acquired recent unilateral facial palsy provides spontaneity and emotional activation. Masseteric nerve for facial animation has mainly been described for reinnervation of neuromuscular transplants, babysitter procedures, or direct facial nerve cooptation. The simultaneous use in a single procedure of cross-facial nerve grafting and masseteric cooptation has not been described.

Methods

Eight patients underwent facial animation using single stage cross-facial nerve grafting and masseteric nerve cooptation. The mean duration of facial palsy was 10.2 months (range, 1–23 months).

Results

Voluntary contraction in response to masseteric nerve activation was observed after 2 to 4 months. All patients underwent postoperative rehabilitation and spontaneous contraction was achieved in 7 to 13 months postoperatively. Cosmetic outcomes were evaluated as moderate in 1 patient, good in 5 patients, and excellent in the remaining 2 patients.

Conclusion

This new technique could provide good results with fast, reliable, and powerful reinnervation, spontaneity, and low morbidity. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 36: 235–240, 2014