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Facial paralysis causes facial asymmetry at rest and with facial movements such as smiling. Fascia lata suspension improves resting facial symmetry of the corner of the mouth, nasolabial fold (a.k.a. laugh lines, smile lines), philtrum (vertical indentation in the middle of the upper lip), and base of the nose. It often improves symptoms such as drooling, nasal obstruction, and biting the inner cheek and lip.  

What to expect during fascia lata suspension surgery:

Fascia lata suspension is performed under general anesthesia at the outpatient surgery center. Patients stay one night in the hospital and go home the next morning. To perform the procedure, we make two one-inch incisions on the outside of the thigh to harvest a piece of fascia lata, a thick band of tissue which is excellent for suspending facial structures. Fascia lata has an extremely low risk of infection and other complications since it is the patient’s own (autologous) tissue. There are minimal side effects from removing this tissue from the thigh. A facelift incision is made in front of the ear and the fascia is secured using stitches to resuspend the corner of the mouth, upper lip, laugh line, and base of the nostril. The incision is closed, typically using sutures that dissolve. Results are noticed immediately as soon as the swelling resolves (typically 1-2 weeks). This procedure can also be done in clinic using sutures to re-establish the smile lines.  

If you would like to schedule a consultation at the UNC Facial Nerve Center, please call 984-974-2255.


Facial paralysis patient before and after - UNC Facial Nerve Center
Patient with facial paralysis and history of GoreTex facial suspension. Before (left) and just 1 week after (right) facial suspension using fascia lata.


After in-clinic suture static facial suspension and asymmetric facelift

Patient before and after left fascia lata static suspension

Patient before and after right fascia lata static suspension and right facelift

Left facial paralysis before and after picture