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Facial Palsy UK
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Seeking advice/help

Hey I'm new here and I suffer from facial palsy. This was brought on when I was born with cystic hygroma in my neck, in order to remove the majority of this, my facial nerve needed to be cut.

In 2013 I underwent surgery to help gain the smile back on my face. This involved the doctors taking a muscle from my inner thigh and placing it in my face.

Since the surgery, I've been very down (more so recently) about the results of the surgery. I feel that the surgery has made me look less symmetrical due to both the swelling combated with the cystic hygroma still around my neck and jawline. In addition to this my nose and smile are still squint and the surgery has not done a lot to correct this, which I thought it might.

Since looking into it I've seen many more options, that I did not know were available to me at the time of having the operation, such as face lifts to make you more symmetrical, and I just want some advice really on what to do as I am wondering if something can be done to not reverse but maybe correct it to a way that I am happy?

I am very grateful for all the effort and work that was put into the surgery but I know I'm not happy with what has been done. I almost feel bad for saying it, but I can't help how I feel.

2 Replies

Don't feel bad about saying how you feel.

You could go back to your original surgeon and discuss the results, or seek a second opinion.

If you would like to send a message to support@facialpalsy.org.uk to let me know where you are in the UK, I can help you to find a clinic near to you.


I have had the same surgery back in 2006, when I was 6 years old. It's a long, long process, because I believe my last surgery for my face was in 2014. The first couple procedures have very little to do with the cosmetic part of the surgery, honestly they are there more for motor functions. The first is the nerve transplant, followed by a muscle graph. (I believe, not entirely sure, I was 6 you know...) These surgeries took about two years to recover from, and the swelling takes months to go down. The next procedure they might do for you would be a gold-weight? This procedure is to help close your eyelid. I denied this surgery, because my plastic surgeon said it could weigh my eye down since I'm still developing.

However, after a couple years when you are fully recovered from the surgery, they will offer to do a surgery similar to a liposuction (just without the hose). The goal of this surgery is to remove fat surround the muscle, and hopefully reduce the "fullness" of the affected side of the face. After this procedure, they let this sit for a few months for the swelling to go down. If the side is still to "full" to your liking, they may offer to fill in the good side of your face to even it out.

I was offered this surgery as well, but I denied it, because I felt like my face was full enough, and I really did not want to touch the good side of my face.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of how long these processes take. Of course your condition may not need all this treatment I listed, but it may be good to bring up these procedures the next time you talk to your doctor.


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