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Laryngoscope. 1989 Oct;99(10 Pt 1):1040-7.

Facial reanimation by XI-VII anastomosis without shoulder paralysis.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Mass.


Transposition of the spinal accessory (XI) and facial (VII) nerves has been used successfully in reanimation of facial paralysis, but because of the severity of symptoms associated with denervation of the trapezius muscle, this technique has largely been abandoned. Hypoglossal-facial (XII-VII) nerve anastomosis has now become a more favored procedure; however, the resultant hemiglossal atrophy carries some morbidity. Transposition of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) branch of the accessory nerve as a way to avoid shoulder paralysis was reported more than 20 years ago with initially excellent results, yet few follow-up studies have been done. Twenty-one fresh cadaver dissections of the accessory nerve-SCM branch and facial nerve were performed to determine if adequate numbers of fascicle groups and sufficient proximal nerve length are available for an adequate end-to-end anastomosis without nerve interposition grafting. This paper presents our anatomic and histologic findings to support the use of proximal SCM nerve anastomosis to distal facial nerve in facial reanimation. When feasible, the use of this technique to correct facial paralysis is encouraged rather than hypoglossal-to-facial nerve anastomotic repair.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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