Sorry to be so late responding but I don’t come on much nowadays it seems,,, you may have made a decision one way or the other by now but here are my thoughts for what it’s worth to you,,,
I had AN surgery in 2011. My facial nerve was severed due to tumor growing through it. So 4 days later, up I had the 7/12 nerve graft. I have good facial tone and eye closure and a slight smile on the affected side. I would not have any of that without the graft. My tongue on the right side is atrophied but honestly,, it isn’t a real big deal. I can talk clearly enough that folks understand me most of the time first time I say something. I truly believe that if I had had the gracilis flap surgery also ,, i would have a smile and all the rest.
I don’t regret having the nerve graft at all. To look at me,, you can’t tell face is paralyzed until I talk. Then I look a little like a pirate,, I like to say. Mouth doesn’t open fully on affected side.
Good luck to you. I fully appreciate how this affects us. It is hard to completely accept it and how it affects our self confidence and esteem. And few folks truly understand. I have a VERY understanding and loving husband without whom I’m afraid I would not have weathered this ordeal as well.
I hope you have found your answers by now,,,