The authors have developed a technique for the treatment of facial paralysis that utilizes anastomosis of the split hypoglossal and facial nerve. Here, they document improvements in the procedure and experimental evidence supporting the approach.
They analyzed outcomes in 36 patients who underwent the procedure, all of whom had suffered from facial paralysis following the removal of large vestibular schwannomas. The average period of paralysis was 6.2 months. The authors used 5 different variations of a procedure for selecting the split nerve, including evaluation of the split nerve using recordings of evoked potentials in the tongue.
Successful facial reanimation was achieved in 16 of 17 patients using the cephalad side of the split hypoglossal nerve and in 15 of 15 patients using the caudal side. The single unsuccessful case using the cephalad side of the split nerve resulted from severe infection of the cheek. Procedures using the ansa cervicalis branch yielded poor success rates (2 of 4 cases).
Some tongue atrophy was observed in all variants of the procedure, with 17 cases of minimal atrophy and 14 cases of moderate atrophy. No procedure led to severe atrophy causing functional deficits of the tongue.
The split hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis procedure consistently leads to good facial reanimation, and the use of either half of the split hypoglossal nerve results in facial reanimation and moderate tongue atrophy.
Abbreviations used in this paper:CFNG = cross-face nerve graft; HB = House-Brackmann; HHFNT = hemihypoglossal-facial nerve transfer.
Address correspondence to: Ayato Hayashi, M.D., Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan. email: email@example.com.
Please include this information when citing this paper: published online October 26, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.9.JNS1270.
FreyMHappakWGirschWBittnerREGruberH: Histomorphometric studies in patients with facial palsy treated by functional muscle transplantation: new aspects for the surgical concept. Ann Plast Surg26:370–3791991
KumarPAHassanKM: Cross-face nerve graft with free-muscle transfer for reanimation of the paralyzed face: a comparative study of the single-stage and two-stage procedures. Plast Reconstr Surg109:451–4642002
MartinsRSSocolovskyMSiqueiraMGCamperoA: Hemihypoglossal-facial neurorrhaphy after mastoid dissection of the facial nerve: results in 24 patients and comparison with the classic technique. Neurosurgery63:310–3172008
YamamotoYSekidoMFurukawaHOyamaATsutsumidaASasakiS: Surgical rehabilitation of reversible facial palsy: facial—hypoglossal network system based on neural signal augmentation/neural supercharge concept. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg60:223–2312007