Unfortunately not all Bell’s palsy patients get a full recovery in the first year. Patients who have waited the appropriate amount of time and are left with residual symptoms often want to learn about what options they have to improve their facial function and aesthetics. There are various treatment options available to Bell’s palsy patients ranging from non-invasive to surgical procedures. Patients need to be evaluated by a facial nerve expert like Dr. Azizzadeh in order to find out what options are appropriate to consider. The least invasive treatment option available is facial physical therapy. Dr. Azizzadeh often refers patients to highly specialized facial physical therapists who help patients regain coordination and strength of their facial muscles. Botox has also proven to be an effective treatment for sykinesis (an extreme tightening and mis-coordination of the facial muscles). Injectable fillers can be used to help patients with the aesthetic side effects that often come with Bell’s palsy by improving facial symmetry. There are a variety of surgical options such as selective neurolysis, cross facial nerve grafts, gracilis flaps and others that are available for patients who want the best possible smile and functional outcome. Dr. Azizzadeh spends a great deal of time and creates a completely customized surgical plan based on each patient’s individual needs.
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