American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
4 years ago

Zygomatic Minor

Over the past year or two I’ve noticed a loss of function in my right zygomatic minor nerve. The right side of my smile drops and I’m unable to use the top right side of my upper lip to make facial expressions. I was just curious if you knew of any ways to stimulate that muscle into working again to even out my smile.

Procedure: Cosmetic Surgery
Location: orlando, FL

Replies 3

Joseph Kelamis
ASPS Surgeon

Thank you for the question. Without having more information or being able to examine you, I certainly cannot give a diagnosis. However, you need to see a board certified plastic surgeon, preferably one who has extensive experience in facial paralysis. Whenever someone experiences facial muscle weakness, the causes that need to be investigated are numerous, but most can easily be ruled out in several minutes. My message to you is this: Do not wait to be evaluated. It's simply better to get the answers and act early.

Yes, there are many ways to improve function. Nerve grafts work very well in obtaining a "mimetic" natural smile. However, when a single muscle or small area is involved, it is usually best to perform static procedures to align symmetry at rest. The point is, you definitely have many options. See a board certified plastic surgeon to help you determine which is best for you.

Larry Weinstein
ASPS Surgeon

I have elevated the side of the face that is not responding with surgery. Threads can also be used to elevate the skin. Botox can be used to tone down the other side muscles. The cause of your nerve loss should be investigated. Lyme disease can cause unilateral bell's palsy. See an ENT doc for a complete workup. A board certified plastic surgeon ASAPS member to tweak your looks. Good luck...

Rahul Vemula
ASPS Surgeon
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Thank you for this question. There could be many things going on here that is causing this. You would need a full evaluation by a plastic surgeon that is well versed in facial reconstruction. Depending on what the root cause of the problem is, a surgical plan if necessary can be formulated. Please consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or board-certified ENT. I would not put this off and get evaluated soon.

Best wishes!


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