Do you feel numbness or painful sensations in your facial muscles? You may have nerve trauma. Our Montreal oral and maxillofacial surgeons can perform microsurgery to correct the issue.
What is Microsurgery?
Nerves are fragile structures that are easily damaged if tension or pressure is applied. A nerve injury can break internal fibres that transmit information. When a nerve is cut, the outer sheath and inner fibres are too.
Nerve trauma can impact transmissions of impulses to or from the brain, which can interfere with normal muscle function and/or cause numbness in the affected area.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon can diagnose nerve trauma and perform microsurgery to repair a lacerated nerve, and restore speech, function and chewing ability.
The Microsurgery Procedure
To repair a lacerated nerve, the surgeon will attempt to align the two ends so that the fibres can transmit nerve impulses again. If there is space between the ends of the nerve, the surgeon may need to take a nerve graft from elsewhere in the body.
If the gap is small, the "pipes" from veins or special cylinders may be used. Once a nerve sheath has been repaired, internal fibres will gradually regenerate at a rate of about one millimetre per day.
Our nerve clinic is located at Montreal General Hospital and Hotel Dieu of St. Jerome, All nerve pathologies are evaluated, including post-operative trauma and trigeminal neuralgia.
Read these FAQs to learn more about microsurgery.
- How can nerve trauma in the facial muscles impact a patient's quality of life?
Sensory alterations in the face can interfere with speech, chewing and social interactions, greatly impacting your quality of life.
Additionally, peripheral nerve trauma may cause a mild loss of sensation, or potentially complete and total numbness (anesthesia) in cases of severe trauma.
Loss of sensation may be temporary or permanent (temporary or permanent paresthesia). Some patients may have abnormal painful sensation known as dysesthesia.
This pain can be caused by the presence of a neuroma site traumatized by disorders of the autonomic nerve system (sympathetically medicated pain) or central nervous system (central neuropathic pain).
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon can perform microsurgery to repair a lacerated nerve, and restore speech, function and chewing ability.
- What are the advantages of microsurgery?
Our surgeons can perform microsurgery to repair nerves that have been damaged by trauma. With microsurgery, we can:
- Address numbness or painful symptoms
- Restore normal muscle function (and sometimes sensation in the affected area, if loss of sensation is temporary)
- Help improve quality of life and ability to eat, speak, chew and interact socially
- How fast does a nerve regenerate following surgery?
How fast a nerve regenerates will depend on your age and numerous other factors.
Keep in mind that tingling in the face is common during the healing process, and that this is not a reason to worry. These sensations are usually temporary and indicate the nerve is gradually recovering.