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Harvard Medical School Department of Otolaryngology

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Facial Plastics

Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery research at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School includes a broad range of basic science, translational and clinical research projects investigating facial nerve disorders, aesthetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery, as well as dermatologic conditions and laser/tissue interaction, among other areas.

Select research projects include:

  • Studies on the effects of nasal anatomy on obstructive sleep apnea and snoring
  • Development of quantitative outcomes in functional rhinoplasty and in the management of facial paralysis
  • Studies on the use of intraoperative imaging with modern, portable CT scanners to perform less invasive, more accurate repair of maxillofacial trauma injuries
  • Basic science and genetics of vascular anomalies, especially port-wine stains
  • Laser/tissue interaction and 3-D imaging systems for the differentiation of normal and abnormal skin tissues
  • Monitoring response of benign cutaneous vascular tumors to laser treatment
  • Evaluating non-invasive techniques for measuring cutaneous blood flow to be applied to the measurement of vasoactive drug responses in peripheral vascular disease
  • Treatment and prevention of facial flushing, hypertrophic scars and leg ulcers
  • In collaboration with the Office of Global Surgery and Health, investigations related to optimizing the delivery of high quality, cost-effective surgical care in resource-poor settings, as well as supporting medical education through an innovative teaching model

Facial Nerve Regeneration Laboratory

Directed by Tessa A. Hadlock, M.D., researchers in the Facial Nerve Regeneration Laboratory seek to improve surgical and rehabilitative management of facial nerve injury.

Current projects in the laboratory range from clinical research studies, which look at the effectiveness of certain kinds of therapy, through basic science projects that examine nerve regeneration in laboratory models. Using an animal model, they use highly sensitive electronic recordings to give precise facial movement data.

To date, this work has yielded insight into the normal rodent facial function and has given information regarding the rate and degree of recovery after nerve injury and repair. In the future, they will test potential treatments using this model, with the hope of contributing to discoveries of new and better ways to treat patients who suffer from facial nerve disorders. This research is funded by an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health.