Congenital Facial Paralysis FAQs


What is Congenital Facial Paralysis?

Congential facial paralysis (CFP) can be further divided into conditions acquired during or at birth (such as trauma) and developmental causes of facial paralysis which occur due to mishaps during fetal development. Studies on incidence have ranged from citing 1.4 to 64 affected per 1000 births. The causes can be varied (please see “Causes” section below for more information). Developmental etiologies of facial nerve paralysis can present in isolation, or as part of a recognized syndrome such as Mobius, Goldenhar, CHARGE, Poland, etc.

What are the symptoms of Congenital Facial Paralysis?

  • Unilateral or bilateral facial paralysis
  • Associated syndromic anomalies

What causes Congenital Facial Paralysis?

  • Trauma (forceps injury, hypoxic stress)
  • Teratogens (ethanol, 13-cisretinoic acid, methotrexate)
  • Congenital petrosal choleteatoma
  • Ebstein Barr Virus

How can Congenital Facial Paralysis be treated?

These conditions require multidisciplinary support and management. Due to the varied manifestations of this disorder, please check with your pediatrician, genetic counselor, otolaryngologist, ophthalmologist, facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon for further details.


  1. Terzis JK, Anesti K. Developmental facial paralysis: a review. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. 2011; 64:1318-1333.