Temporalis Tendon Transfer

Temporalis Tendon Transfer

The temporalis tendon plays an essential role in our daily life. It allows people to speak, chew, smile, and generally live a comfortable daily life. For those who have nerve damage or facial paralysis, temporalis tendon transfer can restore a more natural resting facial appearance and improve facial expression and movement. On this page, you can learn more about this effective procedure to improve facial function. If you’re interested in learning more, schedule a consultation with the trusted team at Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery – a division of U.S. Dermatology Partners. Their skilled cosmetic surgeons can walk you through your treatment options and help you find the best option to meet your needs.

What Is Temporalis Tendon Surgery?

The temporalis muscle runs from the mouth, across the cheek, and up to the temple. It is a key factor in numerous facial movements from smiling to speaking and chewing. When people have facial paralysis, nerve damage, or other impediments in the fluid movement of this muscle, it may be beneficial to undergo temporalis tendon surgery. This procedure involves cutting a hole in the temporalis muscle and attaching it to the temporalis tendon at the corner of the lip. This lifts a drooping mouth to restore facial symmetry. In many cases, temporalis tendon transfer is combined with other procedures or physical therapy to ensure the best possible results.

Benefits of Temporalis Tendon Surgery

The main benefit of temporalis tendon transfer is restoration of appearance and improved function for those who struggle with long-term facial paralysis. Additional benefits include improving speech, alleviating discomfort related to facial paralysis, and allowing for more natural-looking facial expressions.

Recovery After Temporalis Tendon Transfer

Temporalis tendon transfer is an advanced surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia, and it may require a stay at the hospital. Once released, you’ll follow the care instructions outlined by your surgeon. You’ll need to eat soft foods for a few weeks after treatment. Avoid touching or placing pressure on the side of the face where surgery was performed. You should also sleep propped up to allow circulation and avoid blood pooling, which can increase inflammation. Your surgeon will provide recommendations for when you can return to work and other daily activities based on your specific procedure and the way your body responds.

Risks Associated with Temporalis Tendon Surgery

Temporalis tendon transfer is an advanced surgical procedure, which means there are numerous potential risks. The important thing to remember is that your plastic surgeon has years of training and experience performing these procedures, and they will take every precaution before, during, and after treatment to ensure you make a full recovery. However, it’s always wise to go into surgery with a complete understanding of potential risks.

Some common risks associated with temporalis tendon transfer surgery include:

  • Anesthesia Complications – adverse reactions to general anesthesia may occur, requiring emergency intervention.
  • Allergic Response – adverse reactions to medical dressings, stitches, medications, or other aspects of the medical procedure.
  • Infection – the surgical site may become infected, leading to swelling, skin feeling warm to the touch, and fever.
  • Scarring – surgeons will do their best to disguise scarring within the natural lines of the face, but some scarring may still occur.
  • Damage – deeper tissues like nerves and muscles may be inadvertently damaged during the procedure.
  • Numbness – this loss of sensation may be temporary or permanent.


Sam DeVictor, MD

Sam DeVictor, MD

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Sam DeVictor, MD Request a Consultation “I believe in symmetry, balance, and aging beautifully; helping you achieve the health, wellness, and aesthetics unique to you.” - Dr. Samuel DeVictor PROCEDURESFeatured Procedures Deep Plane Facelift A deep plane facelift delivers more natural-looking and longer-lasting facelift results through the repositioning of deeper face tissues. Rhinoplasty Rhinoplasty is surgery that changes the appearance…