Author Topic: Gracillis Muscle trannsplant..long post  (Read 584 times)


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Gracillis Muscle trannsplant..long post
« on: July 11, 2019, 08:17:33 am »
I never knew this procedure existed. In February of last year the gold weight on my eyelid was starting to poke through the skin. I called to make an appointment at ENT clinic, I was told I needed to go to Facial Nerve Center which hadn't existed when I was last there. On a whim, I asked the Dr if there were any new procedures for facial paralysis. I was shocked to learn that there was and my previous Dr never mentioned it. In April of last year, a nerve was taken out of my leg above the heel and transplanted into the good side of my face and threaded across my upper lip. After that healed which was about 6 months, I had a second procedure done. A piece of muscle was taken out of my inner upper thigh. It was implanted in my cheek area of the paralyzed side. It was stitched in like a sling and the original transplanted nerve was attached to it along with the bite nerve. That was December of last year. Today, 7 months later I have a lot of movement in my paralyzed side. I need to bite to smile but it works and I am thrilled! I am now doing therapy to learn to relax the good side when I smile because it is so strong. I had this surgery done at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Jessyka Lighthall was my surgeon. I have nothing but praise for her, She restored my smile. You can google the procedure.  My insurance paid for everything. I have 1 little numb spot above my lip and was told it probably will always be numb if it hasn't gone away by now. I forgot to mention that I had my original surgery for AC in December of 1994.

Mary Ann


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Re: Gracillis Muscle trannsplant..long post
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 05:21:11 pm »
That is fantastic. I just scheduled myself for surgery at Stanford. I am super scared.
Acoustic Schwannoma surgery March 28, 2018
Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento
Deaf in left ear
Facial paralysis on left side
Balance is fine thanks to walking three energetic dogs everyday and yoga twice a week!


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Re: Gracillis Muscle trannsplant..long post
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 12:28:47 am »
I had this done as well.
1st AN surgery @ age 23, 16 hours
Loss of 7-10th nerves
mulitple "plastic" repairs to compensate for effects of 7th nerve loss
tumor regrowth, monitored for a few years then surgically removed @ age 38 (of my choice, not medically necessary yet)


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Re: Gracillis Muscle trannsplant..long post
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 09:00:03 am »
Thank you posting this.  Great post to share with everyone who has serious concerns about the facial nerve impact of an AN.
March 2018: 10 x 5 x 5 mm AN diagnosed April 2018.  October 2018: 12 x 5 x 5 mm.  Considering surgery in early 2019.
October 2019: 14 x 5 x 5mm.  Surgery scheduled for late Jan 2020.
January 2020:  Surgery at NW Hospital in Chicago area done by Drs. Fishman and Brayton