The authors of this paper show the results of their method for facial sensory rehabilitation using cross-face sural nerve grafts in three patients. All three patients had hemifacial anaesthesia after trauma or intracranial tumour resections and their symptoms varied from chronic corneal ulceration to swallowing disorders or repeated injury when saving. Cross-face sural nerve grafts were used to connect the healthy infraorbital and mental nerves of the healthy and the numb sides of the face performing a side-to-end anastomosis through an epineural window in both sides. Sensation significantly improved in every case after axonal growth through the neural grafts. Sensory rehabilitation, although a common topic in hand reconstruction, is not very popular in facial plastic surgery. This is probably one of the first papers that addresses this specific issue and it only reports three cases. The technique of cross-face nerve grafts has offered consistent results for facial reanimation, either alone or as a part of free-flap smile restoration. Its use for sensory reanimation seems a good idea to treat trigeminal nerve injuries that may not be as life devastating as facial nerve ones, but they clearly do have an impact on the patient´s quality of life. This is a very interesting article for reconstructive surgeons.

Restoration of trigeminal cutaneous sensation with cross-face sural nerve grafts: a novel approach to facial sensory rehabilitation.
Catapano J, Scholl D, Ho E, et al.
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Eduardo Morera Serna

Hospital Universitario Son Espases, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

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