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The Methodist Hospital Institute for Reconstructive Surgery
6560 Fannin Street, Suite 800
Houston, TX 77030
Interposition Nerve Grafts
A facial nerve that has been sharply transected during trauma or sacrificed during surgery can often be repaired primarily utilizing microsurgical techniques. Direct repair of a divided facial nerve is the procedure of choice if circumstances permit. Under the magnification of an operating microscope the cut ends of the nerve can be reunited with stitches that are finer than a hair (10-0 nylon).
The repaired nerve now begins the regeneration process re-growing from the site of injury at a rate of approximately 1mm/day or one inch a month. It is imperative that the nerves are united without tension. If the gap between the nerve ends is too large to permit a tension free repair then an interposition graft must be used to guide the regenerating nerve fibers (axons).
The length of hospitalization and period of recovery are largely determined by the cause of the facial nerve paralysis and can vary widely.