Facial Nerve Decompression

Facial paralysis occurs due to damage to the 7th cranial nerve (facial nerve). In this disorder, the movement of the face is stopped. Normally, it happens on only one side of the face. And it is caused by slight infection in the nerve. Sometimes, the nerve gets swollen up and needs surgery immediately. Facial paralysis happens due to other causes as well.

Symptoms:

Facial nerve paralysis is a condition that requires immediate attention.

  • Facial movements on the corresponding side are affected.
  • Sometimes, there maybe associated ear ache.
  • Inability to eat and drink (especially liquids).
  • The mouth remains dry more often, and the eyes stop giving out tears.
  • Eye closure is affected.
  • It leads to a loss of confidence and it becomes embarrassing to go out in public.
Causes:
  • Bell’s Palsy is a very common disorder that occurs in the facial area. It brings paralysis immediately and makes the muscles droop down.
  • High blood pressure and diabetes are also primary causes of facial paralysis.
  • Other causes include a severe injury to the head or perhaps the face.
  • Certain bacteria and insect bites can also cause facial paralysis because the poison in the sting directly affects the nervous system.
Overview of the surgery:
  • Facial nerve decompression is a complicated surgery and it cannot be performed on outpatients by experts. It requires the patient to stay in the hospital for about two to four days
  • There are various kinds of methods that can be used on the patient and it is dependent on the patient’s case.
  • The first method is called Mastoid Decompression of the Facial Nerve. In this, a small incision is made at the back of the ear and the mastoid bone is removed. This is done when there is massive damage to the nervous system and recovery can extend up to a year. The patient is first given general anesthesia. It’s important for him to be unconscious because the pain during surgery is very difficult to handle.
  • The second kind is Middle Fossa Facial Nerve Decompression- In this, a small portion at the back of the ear is removed. This is done when the deep roots of the nerves are damaged.
  • Mastoid and Middle Cranial Fossa Facial Nerve Decompression- This is the combination of both the surgeries. It is performed on those patients who suffer from Bell’s Palsy.

This is all about Facial Nerve Decompression. It requires skill and is carried out in reputed hospitals.