Detroit, Michigan – The Michigan Facial Aesthetic Surgeons have successfully used facial reconstructive surgery as a tool to treat patients with permanent nerve damage due to Bell’s palsy.
Bell’s palsy or facial palsy occurs when there is full or partial facial paralysis or weakness in the muscles on one side of the face. In most cases inflammation causes damage to the 7th cranial (facial) nerve which controls facial expressions, sense of taste, skin sensation, tear and saliva production. The cause of the inflammation leading to Bell’s palsy is still unclear. It has been related to herpes zoster, the virus that causes cold sores.
The symptoms are all related to the affected side of the face. The symptoms of Bell’s palsy include a drooping of the face, the corner of the mouth will turn downward and the eyelid will not close. Patients will suffer from dry eye or the eye will excessively produce tears. Because the patient cannot fully control the mouth to close it, drooling is also an issue. The patient will have a loss of taste sensation toward the tip of the tongue, ear pain and an increased sensitivity to sound. The treatments for Bell’s palsy involves facial exercises and massage, eye care and mouth care all done in the home.
Bell’s palsy symptoms will usually start to improve within a few weeks. There are a small number of people who suffer from permanent muscle weakness or facial paralysis. For these patients antiviral, chemical or corticosteroid therapies are prescribed. While these therapies may help patients they are not always effective in restoring nerve function. Facial reconstructive surgery can restore the patient’s nerve damage as well as their confidence. The words below belong to one of our Bell’s palsy patients from Michigan with permanent facial paralysis that underwent facial reconstructive surgery:
“I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy over 15 years ago. I am also one of the 3% that has Permanent Residual Damage meaning my motor nerve never re-organized thus left me paralyzed on the left side of my face. My face was distorted, my speech was compromised, and my left eye stayed wide open 24/7. It was difficult to keep food and liquid in my mouth.
I was always told by different neurologists that there was no known cure or treatment that could help me. I had no choice but to live with it.
Then one day I was fortunate to meet with Dr. Michael Carron who told me he could help me. My first surgery about three years ago was a Temporal Muscle Transfer which helped a lot however, was only the beginning of three more future surgeries.
At the present time I now look 100% better, have gained back my confidence and hope. I am no longer embarrassed to be seen in public. Thank you Dr. Carron.
My advice to anyone who is suffering with Bell’s Palsy is to stay strong, seek any and all the help you can find, keep the faith and remember the disease does not change the person that you are inside. Do not allow it to take over your life.”