One of the devastating side effects of head, neck or brain cancers can be facial palsy or facial paralysis. This can occur for a myriad of reasons but is usually indicated from facial nerve damage. When a patient recovering from head or neck cancer is left with facial paralysis, there are options to restore improved muscle movement and facial appearance. Joshua D. Rosenberg, MD, is one of the leading facial reconstructive surgeons who offer advanced treatments for facial palsy caused by cancer or tumors.
Facial palsy from head or neck cancer usually occurs for one of two reasons. The first is when the facial nerves are damaged from compression by the cancerous growth. In this case, symptoms of facial palsy may slowly appear, most commonly in the lower facial region. The second reason is due to damage during cancer surgery. The facial nerve can be severed or damaged when tumors or other cancerous tissue is removed, resulting in facial paralysis.
Treatments for Facial Paralysis Caused by Cancer
The treatment needed for facial paralysis from head or neck cancer depends on what has caused the nerve damage. In some cases, once the cancer or tumor is removed, the facial nerve can heal and regain function. However, if permanent damage was inflicted, surgery may be required to reanimate the muscles and restore nerve function. Each case is unique, but some of the possible options to improve functional and appearance issues associated with facial palsy include:
- Nerve grafting or transfer
- Gracilis muscle transfer
- Eyelid surgery
- Botox injections
If you have facial palsy that was caused by neck or head cancer, there may be options to restore higher function to the facial muscles and improve your appearance. Contact Dr. Rosenberg to discuss the treatment options that are available in your circumstance. You may be able to restore your smile and facial expressions with advanced treatment options at his offices in NYC and Staten Island.