Facial Motion Disorders Program

The Facial Motion Disorders Program, founded in 2009 as part of our renowned Facial Reconstruction Center, is one of the few in the country that treats facial motion disorders and facial nerve injuries in children.

From diagnosis through treatment, surgery and follow-up care, our multidisciplinary team manages the absent, weakened or abnormal facial motion in children impacted by these disorders. Our team consists of plastic surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, neurologists, orthodontists, developmental psychologists, geneticists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and nurse practitioners.

As part of the comprehensive treatment provided for children with facial nerve disorders, our team evaluates ophthalmologic (eye) concerns, feeding problems, swallowing and speech problems, and the psychosocial challenges associated with those conditions. In addition, our division's full-time orthodontists coordinate any pre- and post-surgical orthodontic care that your child may need.

What we treat

We evaluate and treat a wide variety of facial motion disorders, including:

  • Congenital facial nerve palsies (paralysis) and facial paresis (partial paralysis)
  • Facial spasm (synkinesis, dyskinesis)
  • Acquired facial palsies or weakness from pediatric stroke, trauma or tumor resection
  • Moebius syndrome (a rare congenital neurological disorder characterized by facial paralysis and the inability to move the eyes from side to side)
  • Patients with absent or abnormal facial motion after Bell’s palsy (a form of facial paralysis)

Many of the facial motion disorders we treat occur as part of a syndrome, such as hemifacial microsomia, CHARGE syndrome, Poland syndrome or 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Access to a multidisciplinary team is important to providing children with these conditions the most comprehensive care. The Facial Motion Disorders Program brings pediatric specialists together to care for all of your child's needs, rather than focusing on a single condition.

Your child's appointment with the Facial Motion Disorders Program

During your child's first visit to our clinic, he will undergo an initial evaluation that includes:

  • Examination by our multidisciplinary team of specialists
  • Electrodiagnostic and imaging studies as needed
  • Referral to other pediatric specialists such as oculoplastic surgeons, neurologists, orthodontists, pyschologists, geneticists and speech pathologists as needed
  • Discussion of available treatment options, which may include:
    • Physical and occupational therapy
    • Botox injections
    • A full spectrum of surgical procedures, including microsurgical free muscle transfer for facial reanimation

Reviewed by: Scott Bartlett, MD
March 2013