Semin Plast Surg 2004; 18(1): 23-29
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-823120
Copyright © 2004 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA.

The Surgical Management of Facial Nerve Injury

Jason M. Rovak1 , Thomas H. Tung1 , Susan E. Mackinnon1
  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
20 April 2004 (online)

The surgical management of facial nerve injuries is dependent upon a thorough understanding of facial nerve anatomy, nerve physiology, and microsurgical techniques. When possible, primary neurorrhaphy is the “gold standard” repair technique. Injuries resulting in long nerve gaps or a significant delay between the time of injury and repair requires alterative techniques, such as nerve grafts, nerve transfers, regional muscle transfers, free tissue transfers, and static procedures. Scrupulous technique, selection of the appropriate surgical management, and aggressive physiotherapy with motor reeducation are all critical to obtaining a functionally and aesthetically acceptable result while minimizing synkinesis and facial asymmetry. This review of the literature provides an overview of current concepts in the surgical management of facial nerve injuries.


Susan E Mackinnon, M.D. 

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