Does a positive neural margin affect outcome in facial nerve grafting?

Mark K. Wax, David M. Kaylie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background. We sought to determine the effect of positive neural margins on subsequent facial nerve function following facial nerve grafting. Methods. In this retrospective review, 19 patients had sacrifice of their facial nerve with immediate facial nerve grafting, 8 had positive neural margins, and 11 had negative neural margins. Facial nerve function was analyzed using the House-Brackman scale. Results. In the first group (8 patients), 5 had positive proximal margins and 3 had positive distal neural margins. Outcome by House-Brackman score was III (2 patients), IV (3 patients), V (1 patient), and VI (2 patients). In the second group (no evidence of neural spread, 11 patients), outcome was III (3 patients), IV (2 patients), V (2 patients), and VI (4 patients). Conclusion. No significant difference in the outcome of facial nerve function was seen between these 2 groups. Facial nerve grafting should be considered in patients whose facial nerve is sacrificed, even when there is evidence of tumor in the perineurium at the margin of resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-549
Number of pages4
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Facial nerve
  • Grafts
  • Parotid cancer
  • Perineural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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