The device captures and quantifies facial movement in three dimensions by means of three infrared cameras and software that processes facial movements before and after reconstruction. In this way, an exact method for measuring and evaluating the various parameters like angles or the speed of the spreading movement by facial muscles at the corners of the mouth has been devised.
Moreover, apart from analysing the outcome of surgery, this image-capturing system for facial movements also would help in programming the actual surgical operation, the researchers say.
On carrying out a muscular transplant, the surgeons have to follow the criteria calculated for the facial parameters in such a way that symmetry is established with the healthy side of the face. All this data is studied with this device and provides information for planning the treatment.
Its surgical repair treatment can be carried out by static or dynamic techniques. A static technique is suitable for patients over 70. In general it consists of re-suspending the fallen part of the face with the patient's own tendons or aloplastic material. The patient cannot move the face but has the benefit of very acceptable results in rest mode situations as well as improving nasal respiration, ocular closing and buccal closing.
Since Navarra University Hospital designed this novel therapeutic microsurgical programme for treating facial paralysis through dynamic techniques with cruciate facial inserts and muscle transplants, some fifty patients have been treated, the largest series in the state.
Apart from its clinical application, this system provides a highly important tool in the legal field, so the clinicians. It can be used as a useful tool in investigations to quantify damage caused by workplace and traffic accidents, given that the degree of injury and muscular contraction can be quantified objectively and with exactitude.
MEDICA.de; Source: Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra