Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS is one of the most recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the world for his expertise in facial paralysis and Bell’s palsy. As a Harvard-trained surgeon, patients fly in from around the world to have their facial paralysis surgery performed by Dr. Azizzadeh. He is the author of five bestselling books, including The Facial Nerve, is recognized as a Top Doctor by the US News & World Report, and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Doctors, The New York Times, People Magazine and numerous other media outlets. Additionally, Dr. Azizzadeh is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at UCLA, co-director of the Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship program at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, co-director of the 2017 International Nerve Symposium, and an attending facial plastic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
What is facial paralysis?
Facial paralysis occurs when there is a loss of voluntary muscle movement of one, or both, sides of the face as a result of irregular function of the facial nerves. Paralysis can be complete or partial, affecting only particular areas of the face. While some facial paralysis patients experience symptoms that are temporary and function return to normal over time, others are permanent. The severity and extent of the paralysis depend on the underlying condition.
Facial paralysis can be very devastating and create several challenges for patients. Physical symptoms of facial paralysis can include partial to total loss of facial movement and expression, lack of eye closure, problems with eating and speaking, and loss of sensation, to name a few. Additionally, the emotional and social effects of living with facial paralysis can be just as trying. The inability to easily express emotions or communicate non-verbally with others through facial expressions can cause serious emotional distress.
The most common type of facial paralysis is called Bell’s palsy. Any type of facial paralysis that does not have any other associated causes such as tumors, trauma, and salivary gland inflammation are diagnosed as Bell’s palsy. In nearly 85% of all cases, Bell’s palsy is temporary and patients recovery completely after a course of medication within a few months. However, approximately 15% of Bell’s palsy patients experience either only moderate improvement with partial facial weakness and synkinesis or permanent paralysis. For patients who have permanent facial paralysis, Dr. Azizzadeh can perform cutting-edge smile reanimation surgery to restore movement to the face.
Most common types of facial paralysis conditions
Bell’s palsy is the sudden paralysis or weakness of the facial muscles on one side of the face as a result of a disorder of the facial nerve.
Synkinesis is the development of unwanted or linked facial movements. This can occur after facial paralysis, as the facial nerve fibers can implant into different muscles while it’s healing.
Acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that develops on the main nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain. In some cases, removing the tumor can cause facial paralysis.
Hemifacial spasm is a condition that causes involuntary twitching of the facial muscles on one side of the face.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus and affects the facial nerve near your ear.
Parotid tumors need to be surgically removed, and in some cases when the tumor is being removed, the facial nerve is damaged or cut because the facial nerve passes directly through the parotid gland.
Facial paralysis, in general, is the loss of the ability to move one side of the face as a result of damage to the facial nerve. Common causes include Bell’s palsy, trauma, tumor, or stroke.
If you are experiencing any type of facial paralysis, you should schedule a consultation with facial nerve surgery expert, Dr. Azizzadeh, to find out which type of facial paralysis surgery will be best for you. Dr. Azizzadeh has performed facial reanimation surgery on patients from around the world, and is honored to give each patient their smile back.
Facial Paralysis Treatment Options
Facial paralysis and Bell’s palsy are very complicated conditions. Extensive training and experience is mandatory to perform the intricate, multi-stage facial nerve surgeries available. Dr. Azizzadeh is a leader in the field of facial nerve surgery and is trusted by physicians around the world to provide patients with the best care possible. In addition to his expertise, Dr. Azizzadeh works with a team of facial nerve injury experts, including , neuro-otologists, physical therapists, head and neck surgeons, radiologists, neurosurgeons and psychologists, to ensure patients receive the best facial paralysis treatment available. Dr. Azizzadeh and his team have some of the highest success rates in the world for the treatment of Bell’s palsy and facial paralysis.
Dr. Azizzadeh is internationally renowned for his cutting-edge and innovative treatment techniques for facial nerve disorders. His primary objective is to provide cutting-edge treatments in a warm and compassionate environment.
The most important treatment objective for individuals with facial paralysis is the prevention of unwanted eye complications, reconstruction of facial movement, restoration of a dynamic smile, and improvement of facial aesthetics. That is why we have assembled a team of leading specialists, including facial plastic & reconstructive surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, head & neck surgeons, neuro-otologists, and physical therapists, to address all of these needs. This truly multidisciplinary approach to treatment is able to successfully help patients with facial paralysis restore facial movements.
Botox is one of the most effective treatments for patients with Bell’s palsy, partial facial paralysis and synkinesis, providing both functional and aesthetic results. Learn more about Botox for facial paralysis.
Selective neurolysis is the most cutting edge treatment for patients who cannot generate an appropriate smile with partial facial paralysis and synkinesis. Learn more about selective neurolysis.
Gracilis muscle transplant is a transplanted muscle from the groin (gracilis muscle) that can help restore natural and spontaneous facial movements. Learn more about gracilis muscle transplant.
Cross facial nerve graft gives patients the ability to utilize the facial nerve in the normal side of the face to “drive” the facial movement in the paralyzed side. Learn more about cross facial nerve graft.
Dr. Azizzadeh – World-Renowned Facial Plastic Surgeon
In addition to his expertise in the aesthetics of the face, Dr. Azizzadeh is internationally renowned for his expertise in the facial nerve, which is responsible for all movements of the face. This knowledge makes him one of the best facial plastic surgeons in the world because he is able to accomplish the most complex procedures in the safest and least invasive manner possible.
As a Harvard-trained facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Azizzadeh treats a very exclusive patient population; patients fly in from around the world to see him. Additionally, Dr. Azizzadeh is highly sought out by the media to give his expert opinion on cosmetic surgery. He has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, People magazine, Extra!, Access Hollywood, The Doctors, the New York Times, and many other TV programs, magazine articles and newspapers. You can trust that you are in the hands of the best facial plastic surgeon when you have surgery with Dr. Azizzadeh.
Best Beverly Hills Smile Reanimation Surgery
Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, the pinnacle of beauty, fashion and luxury, Dr. Azizzadeh and his staff pride themselves in meeting the needs of every global patient and their families. Our personalized and discreet international patient services ensure you have the experience you deserve.