Confronting Facial Paralysis


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“Smile and the world smiles with you” may be helpful advice for getting through life, but if you suffer from facial paralysis, smiles can be hard to come by. Add symptoms like impaired speech, drooling, hampered breathing, or even the inability to close an eye, and facial paralysis can leave anyone with little to smile about.

UT Southwestern can help restore facial motion with a range of leading-edge treatments offered by a team of specialists from multiple disciplines.

Facial Reanimation

“We understand that confronting facial paralysis is difficult for many patients,” says Shai Rozen, M.D., a plastic surgeon and Director of UTSW’s Facial Reanimation Program. “They’re devastated by the inability to move their face. Our goal is to help.”

Facial paralysis occurs when the facial nerve or the area of the brain that controls facial movement is damaged. This may occur after Bell’s palsy that has only partially recovered, after accidents, or following surgery. If the palsy only partially recovers or doesn’t recover at all, several surgical options are available that may help restore some of the ability to move the face and smile.

Treatments vary based on the type and location of the paralysis – for example, eyes, midface, lower face – and also on the patient’s age, the patient’s preference, and the elapsed time from when the paralysis first occurred to the time of seeking treatment.

“Our facial paralysis specialists can diagnose and treat complex problems, and we do it efficiently and conveniently in one location on the UTSW campus,” Dr. Rozen says.


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Rozen, call 214-645-8300.