Facial plast Surg 2015; 31(02): 110-116
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1549045
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Management of Facial Paralysis due to Extracranial Tumors

Michael Fritz1, Bryan N. Rolfes1
  • 1Section of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Head and Neck Institute, Cleveland, Ohio
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Publication History

Publication Date:
08 May 2015 (online)


Treatment of advanced parotid or cutaneous malignancies often requires sacrifice of the facial nerve as well as resection of the parotid gland and surrounding structures. In addition to considerations regarding reinnervation and dynamic reanimation, reconstruction in this setting must take into account unique factors such as soft tissue volume deficits and the high likelihood of adjunctive radiation therapy. Furthermore, considerations of patient comorbidities including advanced age and poor long-term prognosis often influence reconstructive modality. The optimal reconstructive technique would provide potential for restoration of facial tone and voluntary movement as well as immediate restoration of facial support and function. Beyond considerations of facial movement and rest position, restoration of lost soft tissue volume is critical to obtain facial symmetry. To control long-term volume in the setting of adjunctive radiation therapy, vascularized tissue is required. In this chapter, we describe a comprehensive approach to the management of radical parotidectomy and similar facial defects that addresses these concerns and also describes management strategies over time. Specific techniques employed include anterolateral thigh free flaps, nerve grafting utilizing motor nerves to the vastus lateralis muscle, and orthodromic temporalis tendon transfer. Further considerations relative to the eye, forehead, and long-term facial refinement are also discussed.