Masseteric to buccal branch nerve transfer

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Purpose of review

To review recent literature pertaining to the use of masseteric–facial nerve neurorrhaphy (MFNN) for facial reanimation in patients with facial paralysis.

Recent findings

First, MFNN effectively restores some midface tone and function, including the ability to smile. Second, use of the masseteric nerve minimizes synkinesis, dysarthria, and dysphagia that frequently occur after hypoglossal-facial nerve neurorrhaphy. Third, concurrent cable grafting to the zygomatic branch from an intact proximal facial nerve remnant – when available – can restore dynamic eye closure.


Masseteric nerve transfer is an alternative to hypoglossal nerve transfer that improves midface appearance and function for properly selected patients with facial paralysis.

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