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Facial reanimation with masseter nerve–innervated free gracilis muscle transfer in established facial palsy patients
Background The masseter nerve is a useful donor nerve for reconstruction in patients with established facial palsy, with numerous advantages including low morbidity, a strong motor impulse, high reliability, and fast reinnervation. In this study, we assessed the results of masseter nerve–innervated free gracilis muscle transfer in established facial palsy patients.
Methods Ten patients with facial palsy who received treatment from January 2015 to January 2017 were enrolled in this study. Three patients received masseter nerve–only free gracilis transfer, and seven received double-innervated free gracilis transfer (masseter nerve and a cross-face nerve graft). Patients were evaluated using the Facial Assessment by Computer Evaluation software (FACEgram) to quantify oral commissure excursion and symmetry at rest and when smiling after muscle transfer.
Results The mean time between surgery and initial movement was roughly 167.7 days. A statistically significant increase in excursion at rest and when smiling was seen after muscle transfer. There was a significant increase in the distance of oral commissure excursion at rest and when smiling. A statistically significant increase was observed in symmetry when smiling. Terzis’ functional and aesthetic grading scores showed significant improvements postoperatively.
Conclusions Masseter nerve innervation is a good option with many uses in in established facial palsy patients. For some conditions, it is the first-line treatment. Free gracilis muscle transfer using the masseter nerve has excellent results with good symmetry and an effective degree of recovery.
Received: 17 June 2018
Accepted: 07 February 2019
Article published online:
03 April 2022
© 2019. The Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, permitting unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/)
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