Treatment For Facial Paralysis Sees Monumental Improvement Over Past Decade

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Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS, and Director of the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills, describes the changes and advances in both surgical facial paralysis surgery and non-invasive treatments for the condition over the past ten years.

Dr Babak Azizzadeh MD

As a facial paralysis surgeon, it’s my job to literally put a smile on a patients face. My field has advanced a tremendous amount in the past decade—improved procedures have come to replace the previous 'gold standard'.

With constant technological advances in the medical field made on what seems to be a daily basis, Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS, and director of the Facial Paralysis Institute in Beverly Hills, understands the importance of giving thought to just how far patients, doctors, and researchers have come. As a world-renowned facial paralysis surgeon, Dr. Azizzadeh explains the revolutionary facial reanimation treatments that have come to find a home at his medical practice.

“As a facial paralysis surgeon, it’s my job to literally put a smile on a patients face. My field has advanced a tremendous amount in the past decade—improved procedures have come to replace the previous 'gold standard', and more non-surgical treatment methods have provided patients who aren’t quite ready for surgery a way to achieve facial symmetry,” said expert facial paralysis surgeon Dr. Azizzadeh.

Dr. Azizzadeh believes that the most advancements in the past decade have been seen in five areas:

1. The development of the trigeminal facial nerve transfer to replace the hypoglossal facial nerve transfer
2. The implementation of the two part surgery called a cross-facial nerve graft with Gracilis free flap for improved facial movement
3. Better neuromuscular retraining with the help of educated physical therapists
4. The treatment of synkinesis (involuntary muscle movements) often associated with Bell’s palsy through Botox therapy
5. The use of cosmetic facial fillers to achieve facial symmetry without surgery

“Perhaps the most integral development in facial paralysis surgery has been the trigeminal facial nerve transfer—this produces the most remarkable smiles for facial paralysis patients that I’ve seen. Patients also report much less post-surgery symptoms like tongue weakening and aspiration, which were common when opting for a hypoglossal facial nerve transfer,” said Babak Azizzadeh.

Interestingly enough is the new home that treatments once only used for cosmetic purposes have found in helping facial paralysis patients achieve even greater results. Facial fillers, like Juvederm and Restylane, can provide facial paralysis patients with improved facial symmetry by adding volume to the paralyzed side of the face, while Botox can actually relax paralyzed muscles to make a more even appearance.

“Using facial fillers and Botox to help improve facial asymmetry is an amazing treatment for patients who aren’t ready to have surgery. I also recommend the use of both in conjunction with surgery, as this often helps put the finishing touches on facial reanimation,” said Dr. Azizzadeh.

Since his extensive and prestigious training at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Azizzadeh has helped hundreds of people with varying degrees of facial paralysis. Dr. Azizzadeh is the director of the Facial Paralysis Institute and one of the leading figures in the field of Facial Nerve Paralysis. Dr. Azizzadeh has been recognized for his work on several occasions and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show as well as countless other media outlets. As a trained facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and head and neck surgeon, Dr. Azizzadeh has a distinctive insight into facial nerve function and facial aesthetics.

For additional information regarding Dr. Azizzadeh or the Facial Paralysis Institute in Los Angeles, please call (310) 657-2203 or visit http://www.facialparalysisinstitute.com.

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