Facial paralysis results from damage or inflammation of the facial nerve. Also known as the 7th cranial nerve, the facial nerve is responsible for all of our facial expressions. In addition, by controlling the muscles of facial expression, the facial nerve provides important functions related to speaking, swallowing, tasting, and blinking. The facial nerve can be injured anywhere along its path from the brainstem all the way into the facial muscles themselves. There can be partial paralysis (facial weakness with some facial movement) or complete paralysis (absolutely no movement). Facial paralysis can affect one side or both sides of the face. It can also be characterized as congenital (existing from birth) or acquired (or, occurring later in life).
There are many causes of facial paralysis from trauma to viral infection. Dr. Panossian subspecializes in the field of facial paralysis reconstruction and offers treatments for all severities of the condition. Dr. Panossian will perform a thorough evaluation at the time of your consultation and develop a treatment plan based on your unique situation. He leads a team of specialists to tackle the problem from multiple angles, which is crucial for getting the best outcome. Additional diagnostic studies may be recommended. Treatment plans may include anywhere from simple observation to innovative surgical interventions, depending on the underlying reason for your facial paralysis and its severity.
Dr. Panossian’s philosophy when treating the paralyzed face is to establish the diagnosis and perform a thorough analysis based on division of the face into thirds. The upper third’s main function is eyebrow elevation. The middle third is centered on proper eye closure. And the lower third deals with the smile and mouth function. It is important to break down these areas in order to understand the problem and formulate a customized plan for treatment.
In addition, Dr. Panossian advocates EARLY monitoring and intervention for newly diagnosed cases of facial paralysis. Early treatment is highly desirable in terms of getting the best improvement with the best aesthetic outcome. Check out the Gallery section and RealSelf for inspiring examples of Dr. Panossian’s work.
For more information, go to FacialParalysisCenter.com.