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Saving face

Saving face

Unfortunately, some acoustic neuroma patients come to us with a tumor that has impacted their facial nerve. Our patients have access to a multidisciplinary facial nerve clinic as part of the world-class care offered at the USC Acoustic Neuroma Center at Keck Medical Center of USC. Some patients who come to Keck Medical Center of USC with aggressive or recurrent tumors may have partial or complete facial weakness when we first meet them. Our facial nerve experts complete an evaluation of these patients in order to optimize preservation of the facial nerve. Under the direction of Jon-Paul Pepper, MD, facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, the team provides diagnostics, testing and additional support, if needed.

As an expert in facial nerve disorders, Pepper focuses on the restoration of form and function to the face. Clinic visits are coordinated with the USC Acoustic Neuroma team, so that patients may see their skull base surgeon, facial plastic surgeon and physical therapist on the same day. Not only does this save our patients additional trips to the clinic, but it can also offer patients additional expertise and peace of mind.

Pepper directs research that seeks to promote nerve regeneration and preservation using personalized stem cells. There is also currently an active clinical trial for patients with severe Bell’s palsy — a type of facial paralysis. Visit the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery for more information about our facial plastics and reconstructive surgery services.

By Jon-Paul Pepper, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology, USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Click here to view some of our acoustic neuroma patient stories.

Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California’s medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area.