Post-Treatment > Facial Issues

Facial Paralysis Recovery Timeline

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I had surgery 5 months ago and the left side of my face is paralyzed. The surgeon left a sliver of tumor on my facial nerve in hopes of preserving the nerve.

Who has gained movement back in their face, and how long did it take? Did you do anything special or did movement return on its own? I’ve been told that three months is the magic number for facial recovery, but I’ve passed that.

Am I silly to think that a month or a few months from now that I could recover? Or, should I start planning surgery for a nerve graft or something else? I need direction!

5 months seems too soon to give up, I never heard 3 months before. I never had complete paralysis (mine was House - Brackmann grade 4) but I began to see some recovery in about 3 months following a taper of Decadron ( a steroid used for brain swelling.) I am approaching 2 years since the gamma knife treatment that caused the facial weakness and am now grade 2 paralysis and can close my eye completely, so I would say my recovery has been a combination of steroid treatment and natural recovery with time.

Oct, 2016  - GK after AN regrowth from radical subtotal removal microsurgery in 2011

Jan 2017 -  Facial weakness onset late in the month - mouth droop, no eyebrow movement, no lid closure

April 2017 - mouth droop and lid movement improved

July 2017 - synkinesis set in, termed  jaw - wink syndrome by an ophthamologist

Oct 2017 - MRI showed 100% resolution of swelling of tumor and the brain adjacent to the tumor

Jan 2018 - mouth droop still present but not noticeable, eye closed completely

Sept 2018 - grade 2 facial weakness seems permanent, 2 year MRI set for Oct 22

There is a Facial Paralysis Center at Univ of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Possibly they have information they could send you or even refer you to someone closer in distance for consultation ( you indicated Sacramento as your treatment location. )

good luck

Jill Marie:
Hi,  I had surgery in 1992 for a Facial Nerve Tumor, nerve was severed.  Started seeing movement 6 months later, was told it would take 6 months, not 3 months.  Be patient, know it's hard but give yourself time to heal, nerves heal slowly.  Good luck, Jill
Hi there,

I had improvement for the first 12 months, nothing at first but when it starts there is no mistaking it. The nerve sensations are definitely noticeable. I went from absolutely no control over the affected side of my face to about 50% function. (My own scale). Be patient.

Thank you for posting replies. I am trying to be patient with my recovery. It is good to have hope!


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