Facial paralysis is a severe condition that can affect one’s ability to smile, wink, sleep, chew, and speak. Unilateral (one side of the face) or bilateral (both sides of the face) paralysis not only affects facial function, it can dramatically alter a person’s appearance and have a devastating effect on his or her self-esteem. The Facial Reanimation Center at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group is a designated Center of Excellence within our facility. Our team of specialty-trained reconstructive surgeons are experienced with the latest techniques in facial reanimation surgery and the restoration of facial mobility. Below, you will find information on some of the most common causes of facial paralysis. If you or a loved one is suffering from partial or total paralysis of the face, please contact LIPSG to schedule a consultation. Center director Roger Simpson, MD, FACS and our staff of reconstructive surgeons may be able to help you restore function and form to your facial features.

Did you know?

Our team of specialty-trained reconstructive surgeons are experienced with the latest techniques in facial reanimation surgery and the restoration of facial mobility.

Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic neuroma is a condition in which a benign growth occurs on a nerve adjacent to the facial nerve that controls facial motion. Pressure on the facial nerve can result in a decreased function and motion of facial muscles.

Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy is one of the most common causes of facial paralysis. The condition is caused by damage or inflammation to the seventh cranial, or facial, nerve. The facial nerve controls motor functions in the face. When the nerve is inflamed, it can cause paralysis on one side of the face. This is often accompanied by a drooping of facial features, dry eye or mouth, headache, decreased ability to close one eye, and other symptoms. Bell’s Palsy can be the source of relatively mild weakness in the face, or it can cause the total paralysis of facial features.

Traumatic Injury

An injury from a fall, motor vehicle accident, or other causes can severely damage nerves and muscles in the face, ultimately resulting in partial or total facial paralysis. Depending on the severity of the injury and the time between the onset of injury and surgery, facial reanimation may provide restoration of functionality to facial features.


A stroke, characterized by a decreased blood supply to the brain, can lead to partial or total paralysis of one side of the body. This can cause a drooping effect to one side of the face and result in difficulty speaking, eating, smiling, and other conditions.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, most often caused by a tick bite, can cause facial paralysis with many of the same symptoms as Bell’s Palsy. The condition typically manifests itself as a red ring around the tick bite, and is often followed by flu-like symptoms. If not treated with antibiotics, Lyme disease can lead to severe health problems, including facial paralysis.


Children may be born with unilateral or bilateral facial paralysis. The cause of the paralysis is often unknown. Facial reanimation surgery can be performed in children; however, age, the degree of paralysis, and maturity play significant roles in when and how reanimation can be offered.

Other Causes

  • Birth Trauma
  • Tumor
  • Viral Infection
  • Herpes

Please contact our Facial Reanimation Center at LIPSG for more information on the causes of facial paralysis, or to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to address any concerns or questions you may have.

If you would like more information on the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, the history of our practice, detailed biographies of our doctors, and descriptions of other procedures we offer, please visit our main website at www.lipsg.com.