Quality of life after surgical treatments for facial palsy: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Head Neck. 2024 Apr 10. doi: 10.1002/hed.27772. Online ahead of print.


Background: Facial palsy profoundly affects patients' quality of life (QoL). We evaluated the effect of various surgical procedures on QoL using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) to provide evidence-based recommendations for improved care.

Methods: Embase, Medline, Web of Science, Cochrane, and CINAHL were searched for studies on QoL in patients with facial palsy who had undergone reconstructive surgery with preoperative and postoperative data from validated PROMs. After conducting the quality assessment, data were subtracted from the articles. Meta-analyses of subgroups were performed when study outcomes where compatible.

Results: Incorporating 24 studies (522 patients), our systematic review revealed consistent and significant QoL improvements following diverse reconstructive surgical procedures.

Conclusions: Our systematic review and meta-analysis showed the positive effects of different reconstructive surgical procedures on QoL of patients with facial palsy. These results support clinicians to better inform patients about their potential outcomes, optimizing informed and shared decision-making and ultimately improving overall QoL in patients with facial palsy.

Keywords: facial palsy; facial reanimation; patient‐reported outcome measures; quality of life; systematic review.