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Congenital Malformations and Nerve Paralysis

Congenital Malformations (birthmarks, nose, ears, eyelids)

Reconstructive plastic surgery is often performed to correct congenital malformations. These are malformations that have occurred during development that may or may not be inherited. Some examples are birthmarks, misshapen or missing portions of the nose, ears without earlobes, and misshapen or missing eyelids. In some cases persons are born without certain features, such as ears or noses and these can in some places be built and added. Each situation is different and the technique chosen to correct it depends on the patient’s condition and needs.

In many cases, the correction can be made by surgically rejoining portions of tissue that did not fully grow together. In other instances, all or part of an area must be built and formed using tissue and skin from another part of the body (skin flap) or by expanding tissue in the area and then reconstructing it.

Facial Nerve Paralysis

A lack of control or movement of the face due to paralysis may be due to many causes. In some cases surgery can restore some control. It may allow a person who has suddenly or gradually lost the ability to speak or to move part of his face to function normally. It may also alleviate spontaneous movement triggered by nerve damage.

This procedure usually involves nerve repair, nerve substitution and muscle transfer. Surgery is not performed unless a full diagnosis is made, so the source of the paralysis is known. Depending on the type of damage or injury patients can sometimes recover over time without surgical intervention.

In cases where the cause is known (accident or injury), surgery can be done as soon as possible and may involve replacing damaged muscle or nerves with those from other body areas or reconnecting nerves from elsewhere on the face. In cases where there is clearly permanent damage, it’s important to have procedure before two years have passed. The procedure carries with it all the normal risks of surgery as well as the expectations of scars in more extensive operations. Recovery time depends on the individual case and physical, speech and occupational therapy may be needed.

Contact Us

OMC's plastic surgery department can be reached Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (except on holidays), at:

tel: 507.529.6740 

fax: 507.529.6741

Mailing address:

Olmsted Medical Center
Attn: Plastic Surgery 
1650 Fourth Street SE 
Rochester, MN 55904

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