Researchers develop new facial grading system for patients with facial paralysis

April 21, 2016
Media Contact: Suzanne Day
Office of Communications

HadlockTessaResearchers from the Facial Nerve Center at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School have introduced a new electronic facial measurement scale to quantify improvements in patients with facial paralysis.

BOSTON – When patients have facial paralysis, many rehabilitation specialists and facial reanimation surgeons use the time-tested Sunnybrook Facial Grading System (FGS) to measure and look for changes in facial function. A new electronic and digitally graded facial measurement scale called eFace was recently created to provide similar information to the Sunnybrook FGS.

A new article published online today in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery looked at scores on the eFace and the Sunnybrook FGS to compare the reliability of the two scales for facial grading.

The article by Tessa A. Hadlock, M.D. (in photo), Director of the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division of Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School, and coauthors reviewed the medical records of 109 patients evaluated using both scales on the same day.

To hear Dr. Hadlock discuss the findings from the paper, an author audio interview is available.

Authors on the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery paper include last author Tessa A. Hadlock, M.D., first author Robert A. Gaudin, M.D., Mara Robinson, PT, Caroline A. Banks, M.D., Jennifer Baiungo, PT, and Nate Jowett, M.D., of the Facial Nerve Center at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the Department of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. 

Information for this release was provided by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

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Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck.  Now united with Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear is the world's largest vision and hearing research center, developing new treatments and cures through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships.  Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Survey” has consistently ranked the Mass. Eye and Ear Departments of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology as top in the nation.  For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit