Facial Nerve Center
The UW Facial Nerve Center is a team exclusively dedicated to the treatment of disorders affecting the facial nerve and movement of the face. Our goal is to provide expert, state-of-the-art, patient-centered care to those suffering from facial paralysis due to a range of causes. These include head and neck tumors, skull base tumors, Bell’s palsy, Lyme disease, paralysis at birth, and stroke, among others. Our multi-disciplinary team treats the full spectrum of facial paralysis ranging from sudden to long-term, childhood to adult, and complete to incomplete. We aim to engage patients as partners in their medical and surgical management.
For appointments, please call:
Gazelle Campos, Patient Care Coordinator
or email FacialNerveCenter@uw.edu
Our team understands the significant impact facial nerve dysfunction can have on your daily life. Facial paralysis is a complex medical problem with a range of symptoms, causes, and treatment opportunities.
Facial paralysis is a term broadly applied to conditions affecting the movement of the face. Symptoms range from slight weakness to the complete inability to move one or both sides of the face. Patients may experience symptoms such as:
- Asymmetry of the face
- Inability to create facial expressions (smiling, frowning, etc)
- Inability to close the eye, dry eye, blurry vision, increased tearing, eye discomfort
- Drooling or decreased saliva, abnormal sense of taste, difficulty eating
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Abnormal speech and swallowing
- Tightness and spasm (often of the “unaffected” side of the face)
Facial paralysis is most commonly caused by Bell’s palsy, but other causes include trauma, head and neck tumors, skull base tumors, brain tumors, stroke, surgery in the head and neck area, and presence from birth. Depending on the individual patient situation, further testing may be ordered such as a imaging (CT/MRI), electrodiagnostic studies (EMG/ENOG), hearing test, corneal exam, etc.
Treatment for facial paralysis is aimed at addressing the underlying cause as well as immediate symptoms of paralysis. While facial paralysis can be devastating for the affected patient, a number of medical and surgical procedures can provide significant improvements in the patient’s appearance, function, and quality of life. For complete information we recommend a full consultation with a provider.
- Nerve Transfers:
- Masseter Transfer
- Cross Facial Nerve Grafts
- Hypoglossal Nerve Transfer
- Deep Temporal Nerve Transfer
- Gracilis Free Muscle Transfer
- Temporalis Tendon Transfer
- Static Slings
- Selective Nerve or Muscle Resection
- Eyelid Weights
- Eyelid Tightening
- Nasal Valve Correction, Septorhinoplasty
- Refinement Procedures: Brow lift, face lift, blepharoplasty
- Botulinum Toxin
- Physical Rehabilitation
Dr. Lu is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon within the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. She completed her fellowship training in facial plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins with expertise in the treatment of facial paralysis. She completed her Otolaryngology residency at the University of Kansas after graduating from Northwestern University’s honors program in medical education.
Dr. Lu is dedicated to providing high-quality, comprehensive medical and surgical care to patients with complete and incomplete facial paralysis. Her primary research interest include treatment advancements and patient outcomes in the treatment of facial paralysis.
Amit Bhrany, M.D.
Facial Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology
Dr. Bhrany is double board-certified in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology. He joined the University of Washington faculty in 2009. He trains other surgeons in facial plastic surgery and in head and neck surgery, both at the UW School of Medicine and as an invited speaker around the country. Originally from Michigan, he earned his bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering and a doctorate in medicine from Boston University, then completed his residency in otolaryngology - head and neck surgery at UW. After finishing residency, he was awarded fellowships in head and neck surgery and facial plastic surgery at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and at UW, respectively. During those two years of additional sub-specialty training, Dr. Bhrany developed skills for cosmetic facial plastic surgery, reconstructing all aspects of the head and neck, and head and neck cancer surgery. He dedicates his practice to all aspects of surgery of the face: aesthetic facial rejuvenation, facial reconstruction, and head and neck surgery.
Kris Moe, M.D.
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Rhinology/Sinus and Skull Base Surgery
After his residency in otolaryngology-head & neck surgery at the University of Washington, Dr. Moe completed his subspecialty training at the Universities of Michigan, Bern (Switzerland) and Zurich (Switzerland). His first faculty position was at the University of Zurich, after which he joined the University of California, San Diego, to perform facial plastic and skull base surgery. He moved to the University of Washington in 2005, where he is currently a professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery and Neurological Surgery, and chief of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Dr. Moe has a clinical practice at Harborview and UW Medical Center and a research and development program in surgical science. His research projects center on computer-aided surgical planning, devices to increase surgical safety and patient protection, and new minimally disruptive surgical approaches. He is interested in facial reanimation, facial nerve regeneration, and outcomes in reconstructive surgery.