Facial paralysis: timing of repair and management of the nonflaccidly paralyzed face

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2021 Aug 1;29(4):265-270. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000727.


Purpose of review: To explore recent advances in therapeutic interventions for nonflaccid facial paralysis (NFFP), including new evidence for surgical and nonsurgical treatments. Timing of treatment is also discussed, along with possible future treatments.

Recent findings: NFFP remains a difficult disease to treat. Chemodenervation with botulinum toxin remains a first-line treatment to suppress aberrant and antagonistic movements during voluntary use of muscles. More permanent treatments such as selective neurectomy, myectomy, and nerve and muscle transfers have been shown to offer promising results for the nonflaccidly paralyzed face.

Summary: NFFP is commonly seen in patients who have incomplete recovery from facial paralysis, and carries high psychosocial morbidity. A large array of treatments have been described in the literature, both procedural and nonprocedural. Both treatment type and timing are important in optimal patient recovery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Botulinum Toxins*
  • Face
  • Facial Muscles
  • Facial Nerve
  • Facial Paralysis* / surgery
  • Humans


  • Botulinum Toxins