Skull Base 2011; 21(1): 007-012
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1261263

© Thieme Medical Publishers

Outcomes of Direct Facial-to-Hypoglossal Neurorrhaphy with Parotid Release

Joel Jacobson1 , Jordan Rihani1 , Karen Lin2 , Phillip J. Miller1 , J. Thomas Roland1
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Seattle Ear Nose and Throat, Seattle, Washington
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
07 July 2010 (online)


Lesions of the temporal bone and cerebellopontine angle and their management can result in facial nerve paralysis. When the nerve deficit is not amenable to primary end-to-end repair or interpositional grafting, nerve transposition can be used to accomplish the goals of restoring facial tone, symmetry, and voluntary movement. The most widely used nerve transposition is the hypoglossal-facial nerve anastamosis, of which there are several technical variations. Previously we described a technique of single end-to-side anastamosis using intratemporal facial nerve mobilization and parotid release. This study further characterizes the results of this technique with a larger patient cohort and longer-term follow-up. The design of this study is a retrospective chart review and the setting is an academic tertiary care referral center. Twenty-one patients with facial nerve paralysis from proximal nerve injury at the cerebellopontine angle underwent facial-hypoglossal neurorraphy with parotid release. Outcomes were assessed using the Repaired Facial Nerve Recovery Scale, questionnaires, and patient photographs. Of the 21 patients, 18 were successfully reinnervated to a score of a B or C on the recovery scale, which equates to good oral and ocular sphincter closure with minimal mass movement. The mean duration of paralysis between injury and repair was 12.1 months (range 0 to 36 months) with a mean follow-up of 55 months. There were no cases of hemiglossal atrophy, paralysis, or subjective dysfunction. Direct facial-hypoglossal neurorrhaphy with parotid release achieved a functional reinnervation and good clinical outcome in the majority of patients, with minimal lingual morbidity. This technique is a viable option for facial reanimation and should be strongly considered as a surgical option for the paralyzed face.


Joel Jacobson

Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, New York University Medical Center

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