Controversies in periocular reconstruction for facial nerve palsy

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Purpose of reviewPeriocular rehabilitation of the patient with a facial nerve palsy has evolved over time. Although protection of the ocular surface is paramount, application of disfiguring tarsorrhaphies should be utilized only in special situations. The purpose of this review is to discuss current surgical and medical strategies in treatment of the periocular area in patients with facial nerve palsy to give maximal functional and cosmetic results.Recent findingsUpper lid lagophthalmos is preferentially treated with upper eyelid weights. Platinum has distinct advantages over gold. A supratarsal position of the upper lid weight is preferred over a pretarsal location. Lower lid malposition should be treated as a retraction, rather than an ectropion. Recalcitrant ocular surface disease can be effectively managed with a scleral lens. Tearing in the patient with a facial nerve palsy is often multifactorial; small lumen Jones tubes and botulinum toxin injection to the lacrimal gland should be considered to treat epiphora in these patients.SummaryA facial nerve palsy can be devastating for patients from both a functional and cosmetic perspective. Although seismic shifts in treatment of the periocular subunit have not occurred, there are a number of small, yet significant, changes in treatment that should be adopted in taking care of these patients.

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