Resection of facial nerve tumors and facial reanimation in Iran
Even though it is rare, tumors may grow on the facial nerve, which may cause several symptoms. In several cases, the patient might need to have surgery for the resection of facial nerve tumors and facial reanimation, but such surgery requires advanced medical devices that may not be available in some countries and can cost a lot of money in the medically developed countries.
For a lot of patients, the best option is to travel abroad and have surgery in another country. Many of them choose Iran as a possible destination. If you want to know more about facial nerve tumors, their treatments, and the advantages of having the surgery in Iran with a highly qualified ENT surgeon like Dr. Saeedi, we advise you to keep reading.
Facial nerve tumors
The facial nerve is a cranial nerve that extends from the brain to the face. It controls the functions and movements of these muscles. In certain cases, some tumors might grow on the nerve or grow from a nearby location and press against them or even invade them.
Statistically, tumors that grow on the nerve (like Facial schwannomas and hemangiomas) are rare and usually grow slowly. Most of the tumors that grow on the nerve are benign. Tumors that grow near the nerve are more common. Some of them are benign but they can be malignant.
Facial nerve tumor diagnosis
Patients are usually diagnosed with facial nerve tumor that grows from the nerve after they have symptoms of facial weakness or facial paralysis. Sometimes facial nerve tumors are mistaken for acoustic nerve tumors.
Diagnosing tumors that grow near the nerves depends on many factors like the type of the tumor, its location, and size. The doctor might ask for a CT and/or MRI image and sometimes a biopsy might be needed.
Facial nerve tumor treatment
When treating facial nerve tumors, some factors need to be taken into consideration like the type of the tumor, its size, whether there is an involved area or not, and of course the general health of the patient.
The tumor that grows from the facial nerve will be observed and can be treated with stereotactic radiation, and might need surgery. Some factors like the levels of facial weakness play an important role in choosing the right treatment.
When the nerve needs to be cut to resect the tumor the doctor will probably perform a facial nerve reanimation to restore the functions of the muscles or at least some of them.
Some cases do not involve facial weakness. They usually do not require surgery and can be treated with radiation alone if the muscles of the face function properly.
In cases of tumors that grow nearby the facial nerve, the treatment depends on the type of tumor. Some of the cases require surgery that might involve removing a part of the nerve.
Facial nerve tumor symptoms
The symptoms of facial nerve tumors can be different for each tumor and can vary depending on the location of the tumor. In general, a few possible symptoms might appear, including:
- Hemifacial spasm
- Facial weakness: the patient will usually suffer from gradual facial weakness over a few weeks.
- Hearing loss: some tumors in the facial nerve can cause hearing loss and/or tinnitus. The presence of the hearing loss depends on the location of the tumor.
- Vertigo: the tumors might make the patient feel dizzy and cause balance problems.
- Recurring one-sided facial weakness: this symptom appears and goes away frequently.
Facial nerve tumor removal
For patients who have advanced schwannomas and hemangiomas of the facial nerve, the surgery is the best option. The needed surgical approach varies depending on the type of tumor and its location and size.
Facial nerve tumor removal complications
The possible complications depend on the surgical approach that is performed. It is possible to have cerebrospinal fistula, seizures, and meningitis. There is a possibility to lose the neurologic functions totally or partially.
Hearing loss is one of the possible risks in addition to tinnitus, vertigo, infection, and hematoma.
When the patient suffers from facial paralysis due to a facial nerve tumor such as facial neuroma, he/she might need a surgical procedure called face reanimation. This surgery is performed when the facial nerve does not recover.
To reanimate the face, the doctor might offer few options. These options may include the following.
When the facial nerve loses its functions, the muscles can remain healthy for about a year and a half before they atrophy from the lack of use. The surgeon will try using this procedure to restore the movements by connecting healthy nerve tissues in the face to the muscles or use nerve tissues from another body part -like the leg or the neck- to make the connection. When the surgeon uses nerve graft from the leg, the surgery is called cross facial nerve graft.
Using facial nerve graft, the movement will be restored in the face gradually. The recovery usually takes about one year. Facial nerve graft has above average success rate, most of the patients have grade 3 results but some patients can restore the full facial function in few cases. (The results will be assessed using the House-Brackmann scale where grade 1 is complete paralysis and grade 6 is a normal function).
Another way of reanimating the face is muscle transposition. In this procedure, the surgeon will move a healthy muscle tissue from the face to the corner of the patient’s mouth. In some cases, the surgeon will change the course of some facial nerves from the unaffected area of the face.
In some cases, the surgeon will try using the muscles associated with chewing. By doing so the patient will be able to smile on the paralyzed side when he clenches his/her jaw.
When the facial muscles affected by paralysis are atrophied, they will not be eligible to be used for muscle transposition. In such cases, the surgeon will recommend muscle transfer.
Muscle transfer procedure involves removing healthy muscle tissues along with its nerve and blood vessels from another body part and implanting them into the paralyzed side of the face.
The recovery after resection of facial nerve tumors and facial reanimation
The recovery after the facial reanimation depends on the surgery performed. Patients who undergo more than one surgery need more time to recover. The patient will stay for two or three days in the hospital after muscle transfer, muscle transposition, and nerve grafting.
The surgeon will prescribe the patient some over the counter painkillers to deal with the pain, but in some cases, the doctor will prescribe a stronger painkiller.
Physical therapy can play an important role in speeding up the healing process. The therapy should start after the muscles regain their function. The therapist will teach the patient some exercises like clenching the jaw to smile among other exercises.
Taking care of the eye on the paralyzed side is very important. The patient should keep the eye lubricated especially if the eyelid can not blink. The doctor will prescribe some eye drops during the day. At night, it is preferred to tape the eye closed.
The patient’s diet after the surgery should consist of soft foods for the week that follows the surgery to help the wounds in the mouth heal. The doctor will also suggest using a mouth wash to rinse the mouth after eating to prevent food collection around the incisions.
The risks and possible complications of resection of facial nerve tumors and facial reanimation
Because there is more than one surgery, the possible risks vary. In general, one of the common risks associated with facial reanimation surgery is the failure to achieve the needed enhancements. There are other possible complications like hematoma, failure of wound healing, and the possibility of an infection.
The advantages of having resection of facial nerve tumors and facial reanimation in Iran
Iran provides high-end medical services at very low costs. The prices can be lower than that in other countries even when you add the extra cost of traveling and accommodation.
The hospitals and medical centers in Iran are equipped with advanced medical devices. The medical services in the country is similar to what you would have in the United States and Europe. Iranian surgeons and doctors are among the best in the world. They have tons of skills and experience, so you would be very satisfied with the results.
Why you should have Resection of facial nerve tumors and facial reanimation in Iran with Dr. Saeedi
Dr. Masoumeh Saeedi is one of the top ENT surgeons in Iran. Dr. Saeedi has performed more than 5,000 complex surgery including facial nerve tumor resection, tympanomastoidectomy, and many others. She is a board-certified surgeon in ENT.
Dr. Saeedi has attended many specialized courses in countries like Germany, Poland, and South Korea to stay up to date with the recent development in medicine. She is also an associate professor in ENT at Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences in Tehran.
Cost of the resection of facial nerve tumors and facial reanimation in Iran with Dr. Saeedi
Since this surgery is much complicated, delicate and composed of many procedures, it is very expensive in the Western countries and in most countries of the world. However, due to economic factors such as the low value of the Iranian currency compared to foreign currencies, the cost of the resection of facial nerve tumors and facial reanimation in Iran with Dr. Saeedi is much cheaper and much affordable even if you add the extra expenses of travel and accommodation. Please contact us to have a free online consultation and quote on the resection of facial nerve tumors and facial reanimation in Iran with Dr. Saeedi.