Sensory restoration of the facial region

Xiangia Liu, Robyn Daugherty, Petros Konofaos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Normal sensitivity of the face is very important for preserving its integrity and function as an efferent source of information for the brain. The trigeminal nerve, which is the largest cranial nerve, conducts most of facial sensory function through its 3 branches: the ophthalmic nerve (V1), the maxillary nerve (V2), and the mandibular nerve (V3). The trigeminal nerve may be damaged by a variety of etiologies including inflammatory disorders, brain tumor resection, trauma, iatrogenic injury, or congenital anomalies. Temporary or permanent damage can lead to numbness, lip-biting injury, corneal anesthesia, and, in the worst scenario, even blindness. Different age groups, mechanisms of the injury, and the time between injury and repair can affect the final result of the nerve repair. Unlike the well-understood facial nerve palsy, so far there is no universal approach to restore the facial sensory function. This article serves to thoroughly review the basic anatomy of trigeminal nerve, diagnosis of sensory nerve dysfunction, and attempts to establish a protocol for treatment and rehabilitation of affected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-707
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • face
  • sensory restoration
  • trigeminal nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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