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Facial Paralysis Surgery (Face Nerve Repair and Restoration) - Houston, TX

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What is Facial Restoration?

Facial nerve paralysis can be the unfortunate end product of many inciting conditions such as tumors, trauma, viral infections (like Bell’s palsy), strokes, and congenital differences (such as Mobius syndrome, craniofacial microsomia, and CHARGE syndrome). Damage to the nerves can limit or take away your expressions, speech, and more creating physical and emotional difficulties. The good news is that there are many innovative surgical techniques by double board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Eugene "Gene" Alford, that are now available to restore the paralyzed face. With the use of these advanced facial paralysis surgery (also known as facial reanimation surgery or smile surgery) in facial nerve repair and restoration, Dr. Gene is able to provide a meaningful recovery for many patients living with facial paralysis at Alford Facial Plastic Surgery in Houston, TX. Facial paralysis surgery is used to make the face symmetrical at rest and when in motion, allow you control and use of your facial muscles, restore your natural eye protection, and give you clear speech. 

Surgical Info

Facial paralysis surgery by Dr. Gene may take from 2 – 10 hours, depending on your unique needs. His surgical approach is customized to each patient and is influenced by the cause and duration of the paralysis along with the condition of the facial nerve. During facial paralysis surgery Dr. Gene may use one or more of the following:

  • Direct facial nerve repair
  • Nerve transfer
  • Muscle transfers
  • Nerve grafting


Since facial paralysis requires proper care after surgery, Dr. Gene performs facial reanimation as an inpatient procedure. You will spend at least 1 night in the hospital and then at your follow-up appointment the next day, Dr. Gene will determine if you are ready to recover at home. Most patients need about 1 – 4 weeks for recovery before you can resume normal activities. It is important to schedule and come to all follow up appointments at Alford Facial Plastic Surgery to maximize your recovery and results.


Dr. Gene’s goals with facial paralysis surgery are to protect the eye, prevent drooling, and re-establish facial symmetry both in motion and at rest. Facial reanimation surgery aims to restore the function and appearance of your face for a meaningful recovery.

What Does Facial Surgery Cost?

The cost of facial paralysis surgery will be based on the extent of the paralysis, the complexity of the case, and the number of surgeries needed, so there is no average cost. Dr. Gene will go over insurance coverage and your cost estimates during your initial consultation.

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Plan Your Procedure

Recovery Time  
1 - 4 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
2 - 10 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
1 Day
Procedure Recovery Location  
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Facial Paralysis Surgery FAQs

Conditions Treated?

  • Bell’s palsy
  • Birth defects
  • CHARGE (coloboma, heart defect, atresia choanae, retarded growth and development, genital abnormality, and ear abnormality) syndrome
  • Craniofacial microsomia
  • Facial paralysis caused by:
  • Moebius syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Trauma
  • Tumors
  • Viral infections

Good Candidates?

If you have any type of facial paralysis, make a consultation appointment with Dr. Gene to learn more about facial paralysis surgery and your options. While facial reanimation surgery may not restore every nerve and muscle in the face, Dr. Gene will go over realistic expectations for your surgery.

Incisions and Scars?

Dr. Gene tries to make surgical incisions for facial paralysis surgery as small as possible and in locations that will leave little to no visibility after the scars have healed properly. Dr. Gene and his staff can go over tips and recommendations that will help your incisions heal better for smooth, flat scars that blend into the normal skin.

Combining Surgeries?

Facial paralysis surgery may be combined with 1 or more of the other reconstructive surgeries offered at Alford Facial Plastic Surgery, including facial reconstruction surgery, MOHS reconstruction surgery, orbital decompression surgery, head and neck reconstruction surgery.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.