The Subzygomatic Triangle: Rapid, Minimally Invasive Identification of the Masseteric Nerve for Facial Reanimation
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND:: The masseteric nerve is a valuable donor nerve in the management of facial paralysis, however its location is less familiar to surgeons because this motor nerve is not commonly exposed in other head and neck procedures. Current techniques for masseteric nerve identification rely on physical measurements from surface or bony landmarks that may be unpredictable across patient age, ethnicity and size. We sought to identify a rapid and minimally invasive technique based on surgical anatomy independent of intra-operative physical measurements. METHODS:: A two phase fresh frozen cadaver study was performed followed by a clinical application that included 11 consecutive patients undergoing facial reanimation procedures between May 2012 and October 2012. RESULTS:: Ten cadavers were dissected and 11 clinical applications are reported. In all dissections the masseteric nerve was identified through the newly described "Subzygomatic Triangle". This triangle is formed by the zygomatic arch superiorly, the temporomandibular joint posteriorly, and the frontal branch of the facial nerve inferiorly and anteriorly. This finding was consistent across patient ages (8-49 years) and ethnicities. Through using the short scar, minimal dissection approach described in the study, average time to nerve identification was 10.2 minutes during the clinical application. CONCLUSION:: The subzygomatic triangle is a consistent anatomic landmark for rapid, reliable and minimally invasive identification of the masseteric nerve. The use of the subzygomatic triangle obviates the need for extensive dissection and surgeon reliance upon soft tissue measurements that may vary between patients of different size, gender or ethnicity. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: IV.
Article: Traumatic facial nerve injury.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Facial nerve trauma can be a devastating injury resulting in functional deficits and psychological distress. Deciding on the optimal course of treatment for patients with traumatic facial nerve injuries can be challenging, as there are many critical factors to be considered for each patient. Choosing from the great array of therapeutic options available can become overwhelming to both patients and physicians, and in this article, the authors present a systematic approach to help organize the physician's thought process.Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America 10/2013; 46(5):825-39. DOI:10.1016/j.otc.2013.07.001 · 1.34 Impact Factor
Article: Reanimating the paralyzed face[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Facial animation is an essential part of human communication and one of the main means of expressing emotions, indexing our physiologic state and providing nonverbal cues. The loss of this important human quality due to facial paralysis can be devastating and is often associated with depression, social isolation and poor quality of life. Interruption of the neuromuscular pathway from the facial motor cortex to the facial muscles is the common causative factor in facial paralysis resulting from various etiologies. Restoring tone, symmetry and movement to the paralyzed face requires timely nerve grafting intervention in cases of reversible paralysis and the transfer of functional muscle units in irreversible paralysis. We review recent advances in these techniques.11/2013; 5:49. DOI:10.12703/P5-49
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ABSTRACT: Purpose of review To review the growing literature on the use of the masseteric nerve in facial reanimation, from direct neurotization, to 'baby-sitter' techniques, to its use in powering neuromuscular free tissue transfer. We focus on the indications for the different uses based on the timing of the facial paralysis and other patient factors. Recent findings The use of the masseteric nerve in facial reanimation is gaining widespread acceptance for use in an expanding number of clinical scenarios. Surgeon's experience and preference as well as patient selection are very important factors in choosing the appropriate surgical use of this nerve. Summary Facial reanimation surgery is a difficult challenge for any reconstructive surgeon. The use of the masseteric nerve branch to reanimate the face is gaining popularity. Its versatility, anatomical location, relative ease of dissection, low morbidity, and high potential for motor neural input make it an excellent option for many different reanimating techniques. The appropriate nerve use should be based on the type of facial paralysis, its timing, and patient factors such as age, prognosis, and desires. Understanding the benefits and potential drawbacks of utilizing this nerve represents an essential piece of knowledge for the facial reanimation surgeon.Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery 07/2014; 22(4). DOI:10.1097/MOO.0000000000000070 · 1.39 Impact Factor