• Online Payment
  • Patient Portal
  • Schedule a Consultation

Mapping the facial nerve branches

During selective denervation, the facial nerve branches are meticulously mapped to identify which muscles they control. The goal is to isolate and disconnect the branches that are responsible for opposing the smile and causing synkinesis (involuntary muscle movements during facial expressions).

smilling hugs on shoulders

Is selective denervation right for you?

Selective denervation is a valuable option for individuals facing the challenges of severe facial nerve problems. If you're seeking to regain a natural smile, enhance facial symmetry, and reduce facial tightness, our team at the Hadlock Center for Facial Plastic Surgery is here to guide you through the decision-making process. We'll help determine whether selective neurolysis in Boston aligns with your specific needs and aspirations. 

Restoring facial balance

Selective denervation offers the potential to restore a more balanced and spontaneous smile while alleviating facial tightness associated with chronic facial palsy. This procedure is considered when it could significantly improve facial expressions – and confidence.

Personal consultation

At the Hadlock Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, we prioritize patient collaboration. Before proceeding with your selective denervation in Boston, our team thoroughly discusses the procedure with each patient, considering their unique needs and goals. Together, we determine whether this surgical option is the right choice.

historic cupola

The Procedure:
What to Expect


Selective denervation is performed under general anesthesia to ensure the patient's comfort and safety.


An incision is made on the affected side to access the facial nerve branches.

Nerve identification

Approximately ten facial nerve branches are identified using intraoperative nerve stimulation.


The surgeon closely observes the facial movements resulting from the stimulation of each nerve branch.


Based on the observed facial movements, the surgeon decides which branches should be cut to enhance the smile and facial symmetry.


The identified branches that are causing issues are carefully cut and removed, while the branches responsible for pleasing facial movements are preserved.


Typically, patients can go home on the same day as the surgery. Absorbable sutures are used, so there's no need for suture removal.

Recovery and therapy

Improvements may be noticeable soon after the surgery. Patients often work with facial nerve therapists a few weeks post-surgery to optimize facial movements and symmetry.

Why Choose Hadlock Center for Facial Plastic Surgery?

Often referred to as "the mother of modern facial nerve surgery," Dr. Hadlock's groundbreaking research and clinical advancements have revolutionized the field. She has published hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and has been instrumental in introducing critical facial nerve function and recovery scales, along with numerous scientific measures. At the Hadlock Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, we prioritize patient comfort and confidence. Dr. Hadlock's warm, engaging, and approachable demeanor sets a welcoming tone. Patients often find her relatable, and her ability to connect without the "white coat" or pretentiousness puts individuals at ease.

marble texture

Multilingual expertise

Dr. Hadlock is fluent in English, Spanish, and French and speaks some Italian and Russian. Her multilingual capabilities contribute to fostering meaningful connections with diverse patients.
Dr. Hadlock's dedication to excellence has earned her consistent recognition as a Boston "Top Doctor" for the past 15 years. Additionally, she has been honored as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for the last six years. Her contributions have even led to her being named one of the country's "Exceptional Women in Medicine."

Schedule a Consultation

Our job isn’t over until the patient is smiling

Contact Us
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 617.207.7977 .