Cross-Facial Nerve Grafting for Facial Reanimation
08 May 2015 (online)
Dynamic facial reanimation is the gold standard treatment for a paralyzed face. Over the last century, multiple nerves have been utilized for grafting to the facial nerve in an attempt to produce improved movement. However, in recent years, the use of cross facial nerve grafting with a second stage gracilis free flap has gained popularity due to the ability to generate a spontaneous smile and facial movement. Preoperative history taking and careful examination, as well as pre-surgical planning, are imperative to whether cross facial nerve grafting with a second stage gracilis free flap is appropriate for the patient. A sural nerve graft is ideal given the accessibility of the nerve, the length, as well as the reliability and ease of the nerve harvest. The nerve can be harvested using a small incision, which leaves the patient with minimal post operative morbidity. In this chapter, we highlight the pearls and pitfalls of cross facial nerve grafting.