The SOOF lift: its role in correcting midfacial and lower facial asymmetry in patients with partial facial palsy

Nigel Horlock, Roy Sanders, Douglas H Harrison
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2002, 109 (3): 839-49; discussion 850-4
Subperiosteal face lifting has gained wide acceptance in aesthetic surgical practice. It may also have a role to play in patients with partial facial palsy. These patients demonstrate poor static position of the mouth but maintain some degree of facial movement. This study examined the role of subperiosteal facial suspension as an alternative treatment modality in this patient group. In this series, five patients with varying degrees of partial facial palsy underwent subperiosteal face lifting, including sub-orbicularis oculi fat elevation via a temporal, lower lid, and buccal approach, thereby mobilizing and elevating and suspending the zygomaticus major and levator labii superioris muscles on the facial skeleton. An attempt was made to categorize the patients according to overall House-Brackmann score. It was not possible to precisely classify the patients by this method, although the approximate scores were two patients scoring 3, two patients scoring 4, and one patient scoring 5. To overcome inconsistencies with this method, the degree of static and dynamic asymmetry of the mouth and also the excursion of the mouth were graded separately. Four patients with mild to moderate dynamic and static asymmetry (House-Brackmann score of approximately 3 and 4) who maintained excellent or good excursion of the mouth achieved excellent or good results. One patient with poor excursion and severe partial facial palsy (House-Brackmann score of 5) was improved but remained markedly asymmetric (follow-up, 4 months to 1 year). Subperiosteal face lifting is a useful therapeutic modality for management of selected patients with mild partial facial palsy. These patients demonstrate asymmetric static position but maintain some degree of muscle excursion. Patients with severe facial palsies with poor muscle excursion continue to require muscle transfer or sling procedures. The authors hope that long-term follow-up will confirm the sustained effect of midfacial suspension in this selected patient group.

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