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Surgery restores eye muscle function to patients with facial paralysis

Diagrams of eyes and facial muscles

Surgeons at UT Southwestern have developed and analyzed the benefits of a cutting-edge technique that provides patients with facial paralysis the ability to close their eyes. They concluded that the surgery – which is only performed at a handful of institutions around the world, including UTSW – not only allowed patients to blink and voluntarily close their eyes, but also protected them against the progressive damage to the cornea that’s typically seen with facial paralysis.

The procedure, described in a March 2020 cover article in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, involves reinnervating the muscles around the eye that allow eye closure via a combination of techniques.

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