Sectioned facial nerves can be repaired with grafting or end-to-end anastomosis. OBJECTIVE: To discuss these repair procedures and what can be expected of them. METHOD: Seven patients with sectioned facial nerves were included in the study. Four underwent grafting and three were offered end-to-end anastomosis. Facial nerve palsy was iatrogenic in five patients and was caused by bullet wounds in two. Assessment of motor function recovery was based on Janssen's scale. RESULTS: Mean motor recovery was rated at 72.5% for subjects offered grafting and 73.3% for patients submitted to anastomosis. CONCLUSION: 1. Grafting and anastomosis are proper solutions to repair sectioned facial nerves; complete recovery is never attained; synkinesis may occur. 2. In principle anastomosis is the procedure of choice, but when there is minimal traction in the facial nerve stump grafting is preferred. 3. Both procedures yielded mean motor recovery rates above 70% (72.5% for grafting and 73.3% for anastomosis).
anastomosis, surgical; ear, middle; facial nerve; microsurgery