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Dr. Michael Fritz performing reconstructive surgery.

Facial Re-construction and Nerve Disorders

A team of world-renowned experts treating facial deformities and paralysis to help restore your sense of self and day-to-day function.

Your face is at the center of how you interact with the world. It affects your appearance and also your ability to eat, breathe and communicate. That’s why suffering a significant facial deformity can devastate your life. But restoring facial shape and function is complex — and one of the most challenging and evolving fields in medicine today. This effort often requires many experts working together and it may take multiple surgeries to achieve the best result.

Why Choose Us for Your Facial Reconstruction or Nerve Disorder?

Those who have deformities from trauma, cancer surgery or a birth defect come from around the nation — and the world — to Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Facial Reconstruction and Nerve Disorders because we have:

  • Experience: We have over 40 providers with hundreds of years of combined experience who have performed thousands of facial reconstructions. Our surgeons have national and international reputations in complex reconstruction, microvascular surgery and surgery for facial paralysis. We also have experts in restoring movement, swallowing, speech and breathing, and we all work together as a team to create personalized treatment plans and deliver the best possible care.
  • Personalized care: Our team is dedicated to creating a care plan that’s right for you. We will also guide you through every step of the process, from initial consults to your surgery and through your recovery and rehabilitation. You will be connected with the right specialists, have your appointments streamlined and coordinated, and your entire team will be involved in your care and decision-making alongside you.
  • Successful outcomes: You can be confident knowing you’re in the best hands, no matter how difficult your reconstructive problem may be. Our group not only manages the most challenging cases on a regular basis, but we also perform facial cosmetic surgeries — this makes us passionately concerned about results that are not just better than before, but as close to perfect and normal as possible. We’ll also help restore functions such as smiling, being able to close your eyes, speak and eat. Our experienced team’s success rates in microvascular reconstruction are among the highest in the country (98 to 99%), while performing these surgeries on many of the most complex patients. We have among the lowest postoperative complication rates and shortest stays reported following reconstructive microvascular surgery.
  • Minimizing scarring: We have pioneered techniques that use small, hidden incisions to access blood vessels for reconstructive flaps — minimizing scarring and deformity and also helping patients return from the hospital sooner. We have also developed techniques to correct deformities through camouflaged incisions, which improve cosmetic outcomes. Our expertise in cosmetic surgery allows us to refine and revise major surgeries (which are often first needed to correct significant deformities) and achieve the best final outcome.
  • A team approach: At our center, you’ll get seamless care from all of the experts you need — including facial plastic surgeons, head and neck and skull base surgeons, dermatologic surgeons, neurosurgeons and neurologists, oncologists, speech therapists and physical therapists. Meet our team.
  • Innovation: Leaders in the field, our experts have pioneered advances such as multi-vector muscle flaps for facial paralysis, comprehensive reconstruction for parotid cancer, new techniques for facial contouring, total and subtotal nasal reconstruction, orbit (eye socket) and maxillary (cheekbone and palate) reconstruction and many others. We publish frequently in leading peer-reviewed medical journals, have authored many chapters on reconstructive techniques, and constantly present techniques and outcomes at national and international conferences. Our team constantly strives to improve the care and outcomes for our patients.
  • Results: Our surgeons and caregivers go to extreme lengths to provide results that restore the most natural appearance and function as possible. Our goal is always to bring the feeling of normalcy and confidence back to our patients. Read our patient story — Girl Undergoes Rare Facial Reanimation Surgery, Restores Ability to Smile

Facial reconstructive procedures

What to Expect

At the Center for Facial Reconstruction and Facial Nerve Disorders, we are dedicated to finding the best providers and best solutions for each patient. When patients first come to the center, they’re thoroughly assessed and assigned to a team of caregivers. This guarantees that the patient will be matched with the best specialist(s) and ensures easy navigation through what can be a confusing and intimidating process.

Building upon our foundation of unparalleled in-house care, we bring together multiple experts from different disciplines. Complex reconstructive problems are also discussed at a regular conference involving experts from all medical subspecialties within the center. With their combined experience, expertise and perspectives, this group designs the optimal plan of action. This collaboration brings patients the best care, from consultation to surgery to rehabilitation.

Before your first appointment, you will speak with one of our center coordinators who will gather all necessary information and medical records. Then, our team will meet to discuss your needs and determine which providers are the best fit for you. At your initial consultation, you will meet with your team of caregivers to discuss a customized plan for your care and determine if you need any additional testing. In complex cases, a board of up to 40 subspecialists meets to weigh in on the approach that will deliver optimal results. These recommendations and any next steps are then shared with you by your primary surgeon.

Throughout the entire process, be assured that our care team is here every step of the way to answer any questions you or your family may have.

Take the Next Step

Take charge of your health by making an appointment. We offer in-person and virtual options for your initial consultation. If you choose to have a virtual visit, we can order tests, review any previous imaging scans, office visit or surgery notes and have a video chat before scheduling your first in-person appointment. Please call 216.445.9259 to get started or email FacialReconCenter@ccf.org.

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