Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 130, Issue 1–4, pp 125–139 | Cite as

Indication, technique and results of facial nerve reconstruction

  • M. Samii
  • C. Matthies
Clinical Articles


160 patients with various intraor extracranial pathologies were treated by microsurgical facial nerve reconstruction at Nordstadt Neurosurgical Clinic between 1978 and 1993. Facial nerve reconstruction was accomplished along the anatomical course of the facial nerve from its origin at the brainstem, within the mastoid, at the stylomastoid foramen and within the face. Mostly, reconstruction was indicated because of nerve discontinuity (n=61), whereas facial nerve reanimation with a donor nerve such as the contralateral facial nerve or the ipsilateral hypoglossal nerve was indicated in 99 cases of loss of a proximal nerve stump. Depending on the site of the lesion reinnervation started at 5 to 15 months postoperatively lasting for 2 to 3 years with overall satisfactory results. 69% of all the patients regained good symmetry on rest, complete eye closure equivalent to House-Brackmann-Score III: Patients with complete failures either suffered of non-related diseases such as cancer leading to death before the estimated time of recovery or were exposed to radiation or received facial nerve reconstruction after long-standing facial deficit and marked muscular atrophy. The indication of the adequate method depends on the clinical course with or without preexisting facial paresis, on considering the intraoperative state of the facial nerve, the identification and microsurgical preparation of adequate nerve stumps, as well as on the adaptation techniques and the postoperative guidance of the patient. We conclude that facial nerve reconstruction by transplantation at either site of the nerve course or by reanimation with a donor nerve are effective and reliable procedures of treatment leading to satisfactory functional and cosmetic results.


Facial nerve paralysis facial nerve reconstruction facio-facial nerve anastomosis hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis nerve transplantation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Samii
    • 1
  • C. Matthies
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryNordstadt HospitalHannoverFederal Republic of Germany

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