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Treating Synkinesis Due To Bell’s Palsy


Treating Synkinesis Secondary To Bell’s Palsy With Botox

Dr. Kulbersh: Hi this is Dr. Kulbersh from Carolina Facial Plastics. Today we’re going to talk about using Botox for patients that didn’t get a complete recovery after Bell’s Palsy. Bell’s Palsy is a condition where half of the face goes paralyzed due to an unknown source. Sometimes we think it’s due to a virus. Sometime’s it may be due to an inflammation. Sometimes it could be due to blood flow issues. We really don’t know the cause. The vast majority of people get a full recovery from Bell’s Palsy. There is a subset that do not get a full recovery. Those patients lose the ability to individually move the muscles of the face, and they develop something we call synkinesis.

There are different levels of synkinesis, there’s mild, moderate, and severe. When you have mild synkinesis, it could just be the eyebrow doesn’t move as well, or when we smile, the smile is a little bit a-symmetric. Moderate synkinesis is when we smile, sometimes the eye gets narrow and the face just looks tense. In severe synkinesis, the whole side of the face – the muscles are just unable to relax. The whole side of their face has a very tense, contracted look to their face. And they’re not able to move the whole side of the face well, and they’re not able to move that side of their face when because their muscles are contracting the whole time. Many people don’t realize that there are treatments for synkinesis after Bell’s Palsy. One of the best treatments we can do is actually using Botox to help relax and increase symmetry in the face. Typically what will happen is if that, the forehead is off during animation then we can create the forehead if we can create the eyes being more symmetric, create the smile to be more symmetric.

Those are all ways that we can use Botox to improve those areas. This is not something that is done by common people – new Botox is a very specialized procedure and this procedure has to be tailored for the specific person and the type of synkinesis they have. But, I think it’s well worth that if people should have synkinesis, that Botox could be a great option to improve their quality of life.

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