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Facial Nerve Palsy


Paralysis of the facial cranial nerve (VII) results in a person’s inability to control their face muscles. The paralysis can occur from a brain tumor, trauma, stroke and even Lyme disease. If a doctor is unable to diagnose the reason for the paralysis, the result is labeled “Bell’s Palsy”. Patients will typically have a certain side of the face that is considered weaker, and depending on how severe the case, the eyes may be affected. They can have variable weakness in blinking, shutting, and even moving their eyes. The eye may become dried out, which can result in pain, discomfort and continual irritation, and infection.

Dr. Morris is well experienced in managing patients with extreme facial paralysis where the facial nerve palsies are affecting the eyelids. There are some techniques that can be used to address the problem and help return the eyelids to normal. If there is weakness in the upper lid, a gold or platinum weight can be used. The weight is put inside the eyelid to help the patient close their eyes better. Once the weight is put deep inside the eyelid, the cosmetic results can be astounding. Dr. Morris works closely with facial surgeons to the perform these techniques and address the remaining issues in the face.

How it Works & Preoperative Diagnosis

Patients are unable to lift the left eye brow in some cases. There may be redness and pain from being unable to close the eye. Due to corneal abrasion and exposure keratopathy infection can take place. In extreme cases, the patient may be forced to have the eye removed.

When closing their eyes, the patient will have the inability to do so successfully. Extreme dryness, called lagophthalmos can occur. If left untreated, more infection can take place.

Procedure to Correct

Placement of a gold weight in the top eyelid and lower lid paralytic ectropion repair. Sometimes the midface will need to be lifted, since it sometimes descends when the facial nerve is damaged. Within a week to a week and a half the patient will typically see excellent results that are easily visible.

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