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The Methodist Hospital Institute for Reconstructive Surgery
6560 Fannin Street, Suite 800
Houston, TX 77030
Masseter-to-Facial Nerve Transfer
Nerve transfers are indicated when the main trunk of the facial nerve is damaged or unavailable but the distal nerve branches and facial muscles remain viable. These techniques are best suited to cases of facial paralysis less than 2 years in duration.
Adjacent functioning nerves can be divided and connected to the damaged facial nerve. Over time the fibers from the donor nerve will repopulate the facial nerve and produce facial movement. In our reconstructive institute the motor nerve branch to the masseter muscle has evolved into the donor nerve of choice for re-innervating the muscles of the cheeks (smile muscles) and lips.