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Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir. 2013 Aug;45(4):223-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1351327. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

[Comparison of cross face nerve graft with masseteric nerve as donor nerves for free functional muscle transfers in facial reanimation surgery].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Plastische und Handchirurgie, Uniklinik Freiburg, Freiburg.


Several surgical techniques have been proposed for the reconstruction of the smile in facial paralysis. The 2-stage approach utilising a cross-facial nerve graft (CFNG) and subsequent free functional muscle transfer represents the "gold standard". A single-stage alternative is the use of the masseteric nerve as donor nerve. Here we have retrospectively analysed the outcome of 8 patients who were treated with either of these procedures (4 per treatment group). We compared the oral commisure excursion between the 2 groups. Use of the masseteric nerve led to reinnervation of the muscle graft within 3 months. The 2-stage procedure required more than 12 months from the first procedure until first muscle contractions could be observed. A spontaneous smile could not be achieved in all patients when the masseteric nerve was used. The oral commisure excursion was symmetrical when compared to the healthy side in both groups, however the excursion was significantly higher in the masseteric nerve group compared to the CFNG group of patients. Most patients with the masseteric nerve as a donor nerve underwent a secondary procedure, which involved thinning of the muscle flap. In conclusion, the use of the masseteric nerve as a donor nerve for facial reanimation surgery is a single-stage alternative to the use of a CFNG as donor nerve. It delivers reliable results with strong muscle contractions with limitations in regard to achieving a spontaneous smile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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