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Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2015 Apr 7;3(3):e320. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000000283. eCollection 2015 Mar.

Postparalysis facial synkinesis: clinical classification and surgical strategies.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, Taipei-Linkou, Taiwan.



Postparalysis facial synkinesis (PPFS) can occur after any cause of facial palsy. Current treatments are still inadequate. Surgical intervention, instead of Botox and rehabilitation only, for different degrees of PPFS was proposed.


Seventy patients (43 females and 27 males) with PPFS were enrolled since 1986. They were divided into 4 patterns based on quality of smile and severity of synkinesis. Data collection for clinically various presentations was made: pattern I (n = 14) with good smile but synkinesis, pattern II (n = 17) with acceptable smile but dominant synkinesis, pattern III (n = 34) unacceptable smile and dominant synkinesis, and pattern IV (n = 5) poor smile and synkinesis. Surgical interventions were based on patterns of PPFS. Selective myectomy and some cosmetic procedures were performed for pattern I and II patients. Extensive myectomy and neurectomy of the involved muscles and nerves followed by functioning free-muscle transplantation for facial reanimation in 1- or 2-stage procedure were performed for pattern III and many pattern II patients. A classic 2-stage procedure for facial reanimation was performed for pattern IV patients.


Minor aesthetic procedures provided some help to pattern I patients but did not cure the problem. They all had short follow-up. Most patients in patterns II (14/17, 82%) and III (34/34, 100%) showed a significant improvement of eye and smile appearance and significant decrease in synkinetic movements following the aggressively major surgical intervention. Nearly, all of the patients treated by the authors did not need repeated botulinum toxin A injection nor require a profound rehabilitation program in the follow-up period.


Treatment of PPFS remains a challenging problem. Major surgical reconstruction showed more promising and long-lasting results than botulinum toxin A and/or rehabilitation on pattern III and II patients.

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