Facial mimicry after conservative parotidectomy: A three-dimensional optoelectronic study

C. Sforza, M. Guzzo, A. Mapelli, T. M. Ibba, G. Scaramellini, V. F. Ferrario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Facial nerve paralysis is one of several possible complications following conservative parotidectomy. To assess three-dimensional facial movements non-invasively in patients with unilateral facial palsy following parotidectomy for benign tumours, the three-dimensional coordinates of 21 soft-tissue facial landmarks were recorded in 32 patients (21 HB I, 5 HB II, 6 HB III-IV; 3 months post-surgery follow-up), and 40 control subjects, during the performance of facial movements (smile, 'surprise', eye closure, single eye closure). For all symmetric animations, control subjects had larger total mobility than patients; mobility progressively decreased in patients with larger clinical grades. For asymmetric eye closures, HB I patients and control subjects had similar total movements, while HB II patients had smaller movements, especially for the paretic side eye closure; smaller total movements were found in HB III-IV patients. The method allowed the quantitative detection of alterations in facial movements. Significant differences between patients and control subjects in the magnitude and asymmetry of movements were found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)986-993
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • 3D
  • asymmetry
  • facial nerve paresis
  • mimics
  • motion analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery

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