Facial-Paralysis Ohio State has one of the state’s few facial paralysis experts who can perform the delicate surgery required to repair nerves and facial movement.

Facial Paralysis Conditions

Bell's palsy

Although its cause is unknown and the resulting facial paralysis typically resolves, patients with Bell’s palsy can be helped with corticosteroids, anti-viral medications, eyedrops and careful surveillance to prevent long-term damage. Those who do not recover full facial mobility may consider surgical repair options.

Facial paresis or nerve damage

Can be caused by injury, illness or from a medical procedure that impacts the nerves.

Lower lid ectropion

Ectropion is when the eyelid turns outward, leaving the inner eyelid surface exposed and prone to irritation. More common in older adults, it can be exacerbated by facial paralysis.

Mobius syndrome

Present from birth, the primary symptom of this neurological disorder is facial paralysis, leaving the individual typically unable to smile or frown or move eyes from side to side.

Paralytic lagophthalmos

This refers to the incomplete closure of eyelids resulting from facial paralysis.

Parotid tumor

When a mass grows in the salivary gland in the neck, nerve damage can result from the tumor itself or from the surgery to remove it.


This is when nerves are “miswired” due to facial nerve injury, causing involuntary muscular movements when voluntary movements are made. For example, an eye may close when someone smiles.

Facial Paralysis Treatments

Treatment Options

Reanimation and repair: We can repair tissues or facial movements damaged by injury, trauma or medical condition and treatment. We use very intricate surgeries and some nonsurgical options. This includes repairing nerves or muscles through delicate reconnection or grafting (taking nerves and muscles from other parts of the body to reinnervate or replace damaged facial muscles). The appropriate technique used depends on the location and severity of paralysis or injury.

Ohio State’s Leslie Kim, MD, is certified in these specialized procedures and is one of only a few facial paralysis experts in Ohio.  

Depending on the severity and location of damage, the appropriate techniques used or the terms you might hear when discussing reanimation or repair options could include: 
  • Facial or smile reanimation
  • Facial nerve repair
  • Cable grafting
  • Nerve harvest and transfer
  • Masseteric nerve transfer
  • Hypoglossal nerve transfer
  • Cross-facial nerve graft
  • Gracilis free flap
  • Parotidectomy 
  • Facial nerve dissection
  • Upper eyelid weight
  • Platinum chain weight
  • Gold weight
  • Ectropion repair
  • Temporalis tendon transfer
  • Fascia lata harvest 
  • Facial suspension
  • Therapeutic chemodenervation
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Synkinesis treatment
  • Selective neurectomy
  • Platysmectomy

Regardless of the individual terms or the perceived complexity of these treatments, know that Dr. Kim is one of the few physicians in the country qualified to perform all of these facial paralysis procedures.