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Facial Paralysis Care

Treatment for facial nerve paralysis, also known as facial palsy, is possible thanks to a highly specialized team that treats defects of facial movement, expression and quality of life. The most advanced, successful surgical interventions involve nerve transfer or free muscle transfer procedures aimed at restoring a patient’s smile.

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) facial plastic and reconstructive surgery specialists and collaborating specialists at The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City offer state-of-the-art facial paralysis surgeries to help more patients get back to life and back to smiling.

What is facial paralysis care?

People with facial paralysis are unable to move the muscles on one or both sides of their face. An ENT facial plastic and reconstructive surgery specialist can use specific treatment(s) to reanimate the paralyzed nerves in the patient's face, allowing the patient to regain control of their facial muscles and relearn movement.

Who can have facial paralysis care?

There are several conditions that can cause facial paralysis, and a doctor can determine which treatment is right for the patient.

Conditions treated by a facial paralysis care team include:

  • Acoustic neuroma/vestibular schwannoma
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Congenital facial paralysis
  • Congenital unilateral lower lip palsy
  • Facial nerve tumors
  • Lyme disease
  • Moebius syndrome
  • Neurofibromatosis 2
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Facial paralysis can also be treated after procedures or conditions such as:

  • Amyloidosis
  • Cavernous brainstem hemangioma
  • Cholesteatoma
  • Ear infection/ear surgery
  • Guillain-Barre/Miller Fisher syndromes
  • Head and temporal bone trauma
  • Meningioma
  • Parotid tumor surgery
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Stroke
  • Tumor-related conditions and procedures
  • Vascular anomaly
  • Viral conditions

We offer a variety of appointment types. Learn more or call 913-588-1227 to schedule now.

How does facial paralysis care work?

Facial paralysis treatment depends on the condition being treated and the severity of the patient's paralysis. There are several treatment options, and your physician will help you determine which is right for you. These treatment options could include:

  • Asymmetric facelift
  • Botox for facial paralysis
  • Brow and forehead lifting
  • Comprehensive eye care for the paralyzed eye
  • Comprehensive nasal surgery for the paralyzed and obstructed nose
  • Cross face nerve grafting
  • Depressor anguli oris (DAO) myectomy procedure
  • Depressor labii inferioris (DLI) myectomy procedure
  • Facial filler for facial paralysis
  • Facial therapy (neuromuscular retraining)
  • Fat grafting for facial paralysis
  • Gracilis free muscle transfer smile surgery
  • Hypoglossal to facial nerve transfers (XII-VII)
  • Masseteric to facial nerve transfers (V-VII)
  • Mentalis myectomy procedure
  • Selective neurectomy
  • Static facial suspension

Benefits and risks of facial paralysis care

The potential risks of facial paralysis treatment depend on the specific treatment your physician recommends. One of the greatest benefits of facial paralysis care is the renewed ability to control one's mouth and other facial muscles, allowing people to smile again.

What happens during facial paralysis care?

Treating facial paralysis begins with identifying the cause of the paralysis, then identifying the procedure(s) best suited to treat the paralysis. Office-based treatments like physical therapy and injections are available, but the most advanced, successful surgical interventions involve nerve transfer or free muscle transfer procedures (like switching a nerve), allowing the body to relearn or “reanimate” with the new nerve and training.
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Why choose us for facial paralysis care?

At The University of Kansas Health System, we offer the best in facial plastic surgery. Our cases are overseen by facial plastic surgeons who are trained and certified in applying minimally invasive injectables and surgery.

Our facial paralysis care team leads the region in rhinoplasty surgical volume – up to 70 times more than the average facial plastics provider. We also have the only facial nerve comprehensive team in Kansas and the surrounding region. Less than 1% of facial plastic surgery teams offer our level of expertise, so we are the go-to spot for facial paralysis treatment for those in the Midwest.

We offer facial paralysis consultations at several of our Kansas City area locations plus telehealth visits via MyChart. We welcome referring physician and provider consultations.

Our services are provided by The University of Kansas Hospital – named the No. 1 hospital in Kansas and in Kansas City by U.S. News & World Report since the award’s inception. We're also part of an academic medical center, meaning you have access to the latest and most comprehensive diagnostic and treatment options and a continuous network of care.