Depressor Anguli Oris Myectomy versus Transfer to Depressor Labii Inferioris for Facial Symmetry in Synkinetic Facial Paralysis

Sameer H. Halani, Cristina V. Sanchez, Austin S. Hembd, Ahneesh J. Mohanty, Joan Reisch, Shai M. Rozen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background Postparalytic synkinesis presents with a combination of hypo- and hypertonic muscles, leading to facial asynchrony with animation and at rest. One ubiquitous finding is a hypertonic depressor anguli oris (DAO) muscle and a weak depressor labii inferioris (DLI) muscle. The goal of this study was to evaluate the utility of DAO myectomy with or without its transfer to the weakened DLI in improving critical components of the dynamic smile. Methods From 2018 to 2020, this single-center, prospective study included of postparetic facial synkinetic patients with evidence of DAO hypertonicity who underwent DAO myectomy with or without transfer to DLI. Objective facial measurements were used to compare the effectiveness of DAO to DLI transfer to pure DAO myectomy in improving asymmetry of the synkinetic hemiface. Results Twenty-one patients with unilateral postparetic facial synkinesis with DAO hypertonicity were included; 11 underwent DAO myectomy, while 10 underwent DAO to DLI transfer. Baseline demographics and facial measurements were similar between the groups. DAO myectomy resulted in increased modiolus resting position, closed-mouth smile modiolus angle and excursion, open-mouth smile modiolus angle, excursion, dental show, and decreased lower lip height deviation. DAO to DLI transfer demonstrated similar findings but lacked significant increase in excursion and resulted in worsened lower lip height deviation. Conclusion These findings illustrate the utility of DAO myectomy in improving imbalance in the synkinetic patient and necessitate further technical refinements for DAO transfers or a different approach for improving lower lip depression in this subgroup of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • facial paralysis
  • muscle transfer
  • synkinesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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