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Emory Facial Nerve Treatments

Pioneering Facial Nerve Treatments

Emory Healthcare’s Facial Nerve Program gives you access to a multidisciplinary team of specialists. We work together to develop personalized facial paralysis treatment plans to address the physical and emotional aspects of living with facial paralysis. Your plan may include a combination of non-surgical and surgical treatments as well as social-emotional support. Our collaborative approach helps you get back to living your life and feeling like yourself again.


Conditions We Treat

  • Bell's Palsy
  • Ramsay-Hunt syndrome
  • Facial paralysis following surgery for certain facial tumors and head and neck cancers, such as parotid tumors, acoustic neuromas, and facial nerve tumors
  • Facial paralysis resulting from ear surgery, ear infection, or temporal bone trauma'
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Congenital facial paralysis

Often, these conditions can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Cheek biting
  • Difficulties speaking or eating
  • Drooling
  • Eye dryness or irritation
  • Facial drooping
  • Facial tightness or pain
  • Inability to raise the eyebrow or close the eye
  • Inability to smile, pucker, or frown


Nonsurgical Facial Paralysis Treatment

Our team specializes in the following nonsurgical treatments to help address the effects of facial paralysis.

Facial Botox Injections

Botox helps stop muscle spasms and can relax the face when injected directly into the muscle. This is a first-line treatment option for patients suffering from residual facial dysfunction following Bell’s palsy or Ramsay-Hunt syndrome.

This treatment is reversible and is repeated every 3-4 months.

Facial Neuromuscular Retraining

This includes personalized facial physiotherapy (or physical therapy) to improve muscle strength, function, and mobility.

Social Support

Facial paralysis is a challenging condition both socially and emotionally. We offer personalized support to help patients struggling with the condition.


Surgical Facial Paralysis Treatment

In some cases, facial paralysis requires surgery to restore normal function to your face. Our team of specialists has expertise in a wide range of reconstructive procedures, including:

Selective Neurectomy and Myectomy

Neurectomy or neurolysis (nerve cutting) and myectomy (muscle cutting) surgeries can improve the smile and relieve involuntary facial spasms and synkinesis. Read an interview about Depressor Anguli Oris (DAO) myectomy with Emory Facial Nerve Program Director H. Michael Baddour, MD.

Cross Facial Nerve Grafting

This procedure involves replacing unresponsive facial nerves with nerves from the nonparalyzed side of the face and using them to "activate" paralyzed facial muscles.

Facial Nerve Transfers

This procedure uses healthy nerves and connects them to a damaged facial nerve to restore facial tone and movement following nerve injuries.

Eyelid Weights and Tightening Procedures

These procedures improve your eye’s ability to close after facial paralysis. Not being able to shut your eye can damage it permanently. Tightening the skin and surgically implanting weights helps restore your blinking function and protects the eye.

Gracilis Free Muscle Transfer

This procedure uses muscle from the inner thigh and transplants it to the face to help restore the ability to smile.

Static Facial Slings

This procedure implants muscle from the thigh to balance the look of the lips, corner of the mouth, and laugh lines. Our specialists will walk you through what you can expect during a surgical procedure.


Make an Appointment with Emory Facial Nerve Program

We have the resources and expertise to treat a range of conditions causing facial paralysis and to help you feel more like yourself. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 404-686-4328 or 404-778-0278.