Your face is one of your biggest assets. You may not even realize how much you use it throughout the day. Obviously, you use your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your mouth to speak, etc. But have you ever thought about all the little things you use it to accomplish. It’s like talking on the phone with someone instead of talking face to face.
There are subtleties in our facial movements, body language that we use all the time without even thinking about it. The way we crinkle our nose to express displeasure, how we widen our eyes to indicate intrigue and surprise, and the manner in which we move our eyebrows to show skepticism or excitement, are some of thousands of ways that we express ourselves by simply flexing the complicated muscles throughout our face. So to no longer have that control, is a prospect that’s difficult to fully imagine.
There are tens of thousands of Americans who experience that very prospect as a daily struggle due to facial paralysis. Living with facial paralysis can be frustrating. To lose the functionality of any part of your face is a tremendous challenge for the multitude of reasons listed above and more. There are a number of causes for facial paralysis, including trauma, tumors, stroke, Bell’s palsy, as well as others, often the result of nerve damage to fibers and muscles in the face and neck. The duration of paralysis can vary depending on the cause. People with Bell’s palsy tend to recover in a matter of months while stints with other afflictions may not be so brief.
The good news is this, it is possible to use surgery as a tool to restore not only functional needs to patients with facial paralysis, but to address cosmetic needs as well. Facial Reanimation encompasses a number of surgical procedures which taken together seek to accomplish goals such as restoring eating and swallowing functions as well as facial symmetry.
The drawback to Facial Reanimation is that it is a somewhat laborious process, requiring multiple surgeries over a span of many months to complete.
The extent of a patient’s reanimation surgery is determined by the context of their conditions. Our surgeons at Jefferson Facial Plastic will recommend various procedural methods depending on those conditions in order to give the patient a highly personalized strategy in working toward a successful process.
It’s a big commitment to sign on for multiple surgeries with recovery time in between, but the results are more than worth it. It’s nothing short of amazing the difference that a few months can make in restoring function and symmetry to patients with facial paralysis.
If you’d like to speak to one of our surgeons at length to decide whether facial reanimation surgery is right for you, please give us a call at 215-503-FACE. Meet with our surgeons for an initial consultation and they will help you to decide if the process is right for you and your specific set of circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you!