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What is synkinesis?

In simple language, synkinesis is a condition that occurs when the facial nerves become miswired or “cross-connected” during the healing process after facial paralysis. When you try to smile, blink, or make other facial expressions, the wrong facial muscles might also move involuntarily, leading to an abnormal or asymmetrical appearance.

woman looking at herself in mirror

What causes synkinesis?

Synkinesis most commonly arises due to conditions like Bell’s Palsy, traumatic facial injuries, or surgeries involving the facial nerve. When the facial nerve attempts to regenerate after injury or damage, the nerve fibers may reconnect inappropriately, causing synkinesis.

Treatment options for synkinesis

Managing synkinesis requires a personalized approach to address its unique challenges. At the Hadlock Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, we offer a range of treatments for synkinesis in Boston, including:

Physical therapy

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in managing synkinesis. Our skilled therapists will work with you to develop a customized exercise program designed to retrain your facial muscles. These exercises can help reduce unwanted movements and improve your ability to control your facial expressions.

BOTOX Injections

Botox, a well-known cosmetic treatment, can also be an effective tool in managing synkinesis. By carefully injecting Botox into specific facial muscles, we can temporarily weaken them, reducing unintended movements. This allows for improved control over your facial expressions and a more symmetrical appearance.

Facial reanimation surgery

For more severe cases of synkinesis, surgical treatment may be advised. Our founder, Dr. Tessa Hadlock, pioneered advances in facial reanimation surgery, with techniques now used by her colleagues worldwide. She has developed innovative strategies to address synkinesis by rerouting and retraining the facial nerve. These procedures aim to restore natural facial movement and symmetry and minimize synkinesis. 

Facial reanimation surgery is a specialized procedure to restore natural facial movement and symmetry in individuals with facial paralysis. This innovative surgery involves techniques such as nerve transfers to reestablish facial expression control, ultimately enhancing appearance and function.

Why choose the Hadlock Center for Facial Plastic Surgery?

Dr. Tessa Hadlock, our visionary founder, is a renowned clinician-scientist with over two decades of experience in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Her groundbreaking research and innovative techniques have transformed the field worldwide. 

She delivers a full spectrum of treatments for facial paralysis and synkinesis, from non-invasive therapies to complex surgical procedures. The goal is to provide the most effective treatments available in modern medicine. When under the care of Dr. Hadlock, you are not just another patient; you’re a valued individual.

We take the time to listen to your concerns, understand your goals, and develop a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.We deliver comprehensive care in several languages, including English, Spanish, and French. It is important to us that patients from diverse backgrounds feel comfortable and understood.

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Our job isn’t over until the patient is smiling

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