Temporalis Tendon Transfer Can Help Facial Paralysis

Combination of surgery and intense physical therapy is safe and effective for facial paralysis

MONDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Temporalis tendon transfer is a minimally invasive procedure for treating facial paralysis that gets high patient marks for improved muscle function and reanimation of facial features, according to a report in the July/August issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

Patrick J. Byrne, M.D., and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, treated seven patients with facial paralysis using the temporalis tendon transfer technique. Physical therapy involving facial muscle re-training took place before and after the surgery, in which the temporalis muscle insertion was exposed, released and re-attached.

The researchers found a high degree of patient approval seven days after the procedure. The mean satisfaction score was 8.4 for appearance, 8.7 for speech, 8.1 for feeding and 7.1 for smile function out of a possible 10 points. Independent grading of patient facial photographs before and after surgery also received excellent marks.

"We believe that in patients in whom reinnervation of the muscles of facial expression is not an option, orthodromic temporalis tendon transfer is an effective, safe and simple procedure," the authors write.

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