(HealthDay News) — Patients with facial paralysis may benefit from cosmetic lip augmentation, according to research published online June 18 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.
Kofi Boahene, M.D., a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues worked with 22 people who had facial paralysis on one side of the mouth and three people with muscular dystrophy who had lost control of both sides of the mouth. The patients were given hyaluronic acid injections.
The greatest improvement was seen in the three muscular dystrophy patients, who had a six- to seven-fold increase in lip strength. Among those with paralysis on one side of the mouth, lip strength improved an average of 1.4 times on the paralyzed side and 0.4 times on the non-paralyzed side, the researchers found. All 25 patients showed notable improvement in their ability to speak and to eat and drink without spillage.
A larger study with about 100 patients is being planned. In a Johns Hopkins news release, Boahene said that if the patients in this study continue to show improvement without any significant side effects, he may explore longer-lasting treatments, such as removing fat from elsewhere in the body and injecting it around the mouth.