Physical Therapy for Iatrogenic Facial Paralysis, finds a st
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Facial paralysis (FP) after surgery has substantial functional, emotional, and financial consequences. Most iatrogenic FP is managed by watchful waiting, with the expectation of facial function recovery. A potential treatment is physical therapy (PT).

To investigate whether noninvasive PT compared with no PT or other intervention improves facial nerve outcomes in adults with iatrogenic FP a study was conducted.

Patients with noniatrogenic FP, facial reanimation surgery, and invasive adjunctive treatments (acupuncture or botulinum toxin injection) were excluded. A systematic review was conducted for records discussing iatrogenic FP and PT. The references of all the included articles were also assessed for eligible studies. All human participant, English-language study designs with at least 2 cases were included. Quality assessment was performed using the Methodological Index for Non-randomized Studies (MINORS) and the revised Cochrane Risk of Bias 2 (RoB 2) tool for randomized controlled trials.

Fifteen studies (7 of which were retrospective cohort studies) and 313 patients with iatrogenic FP were included in the systematic review. Most iatrogenic FP (166 patients [53%]) was associated with parotidectomy; traditional PT (ie, facial massage) was the most common intervention (196 patients [63%]). The use of various facial grading systems and inconsistent reporting of outcomes prevented direct comparison of PT types.

Because of heterogeneity in reported outcomes of facial nerve recovery, definitive conclusions were unable to be made regarding the association between PT and outcomes of iatrogenic FP. Physical therapy probably has benefit and is associated with no harm in patients with iatrogenic FP.