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BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #151

Navigating Synkinesis: From Diagnosis to Comprehensive Care

with Dr. Shiayin Yang

In this episode, host Dr. Ashley Agan discusses management of synkinesis with Dr. Shiayin (Shi) Yang, facial plastic surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The surgeons begin by defining synkinesis, a condition in which voluntary facial muscle movement triggers involuntary contraction of other facial muscles. Though the pathophysiology of synkinesis remains incompletely understood, damage to and aberrant “rewiring” of the facial nerve is thought to trigger these symptoms. Causes of synkinesis include Bell’s Palsy, facial tumors, and intra-operative injury. Dr. Yang explains the importance of appropriate patient counseling, especially given the misperception that synkinesis is a “disease of vanity.” The discussion then transitions to treatment options, including physical therapy, Botox injections, and surgical intervention (including myectomy and selective neurectomy). The podcast finishes with Dr. Yang’s insights into the mental health impact of synkinesis.

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Navigating Synkinesis: From Diagnosis to Comprehensive Care with Dr. Shiayin Yang on the BackTable ENT Podcast)
Ep 151 Navigating Synkinesis: From Diagnosis to Comprehensive Care with Dr. Shiayin Yang
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, December 26). Ep. 151 – Navigating Synkinesis: From Diagnosis to Comprehensive Care [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Shiayin Yang discusses Navigating Synkinesis: From Diagnosis to Comprehensive Care on the BackTable 151 Podcast

Dr. Shiayin Yang

Dr. Shiayin Yang is an assistant professor of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Ashley Agan discusses Navigating Synkinesis: From Diagnosis to Comprehensive Care on the BackTable 151 Podcast

Dr. Ashley Agan

Dr. Ashley Agan is a practicing ENT and assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.

Show Notes

00:00 – Introduction
02:26 – Understanding Synkinesis
05:08 – Common Patient Presentations
06:11 – Importance of Early Treatment and Patient Education
07:48 – Referral and Timeliness of Treatment
09:35 – Pathophysiology of Nerve Rewiring
12:11 – Workup and Diagnosis
17:57 – Treatment Options: Botox Therapy
25:51 – Treatment Options: Surgical Interventions
30:31 – Long-term Management and Expectations
33:27 – Eye Protection in Facial Paralysis
37:16 – Mental Health Impact of Synkinesis
38:27 – Conclusion and Contact Information

Resources

Dr. Yang’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center profile:
https://search.vanderbilthealth.com/doctors/yang-shiayin

Transcript Preview

[Dr. Shiayin Yang]
I think improving the awareness [of synkinesis] for everyone will make such a big difference. There's so much we can do. Aside from just the functional aspect of it, there's a huge psychological component too, because patients just tell me, "I don't go out, I don't eat, I don't see my friends, I quit my job." It's just heart-wrenching because there's so much that we can do for these patients, but the awareness is just not there. The understanding of what can be done, we just need to help educate people so that we can provide the treatments that they need.

Disclaimer: The Materials available on BackTable.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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