Cross‐face nerve grafting (CFNG) is an important treatment for patients with facial palsy. Currently, two‐stage CFNG is frequently performed. CFNG is performed first, followed by coaptation when innervation reaches the grafted nerve ending. The present study compared single‐stage CFNG with conventional two‐stage CFNG.
We retrospectively reviewed data of 17 patients who underwent CFNG with zygomatic and buccal branch with hypoglossal crossover. Patients with single‐stage (group 1) and two‐stage (group 2) CFNG were comparatively analyzed 2 years postoperatively. There were nine and eight patients in groups 1 and 2, respectively. The patient's perioperative status was measured with imaging and animation using the Yanagihara grade, altitude, and angle differences of the oral commissure and eye closure.
Patients in group 1 could recognize their first postoperative spontaneous movement earlier than those in group 2 (268.3 ± 25.1 days vs. 327.5 ± 51.3 days, respectively, p = 0.015). The Yanagihara grade significantly improved for patients in both groups postoperatively (group 1: 12.8 ± 5.5 to 25.3 ± 6.1, p < 0.01; group 2: 12.4 ± 5.6 to 24.3 ± 5.0, p = 0.012). Height and angle difference of the oral commissure showed a significant improvement during resting and smiling in both groups. Eye closure also showed significant improvement in both groups (group 1: 4.1 ± 0.6 to 2.6 ± 0.5, p < 0.01; group 2: 4.0 ± 0.5 to 2.8 ± 0.7, p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the postoperative improvement rate between the groups.
Single‐stage CFNG shows results equivalent to those of two‐stage CFNG. Single‐stage CFNG is associated with a shorter treatment period and fewer operations.
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