Processed nerve allografts in reconstructive microneurosurgery after ablative head and neck surgery

Arshad Kaleem, Neel Patel, Joseph F. Geiger, Ramzey Tursun

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Peripheral nerve reconstruction is a mainstay in the fields of orthopedics, plastic surgery, and neurosurgery in regards to nerves of the upper and lower extremities in trauma and pathology, however it has also become increasingly important in the advancement of functional reconstruction of the head and neck in recent years. Important neural structures can be damaged or sacrificed in the treatment of various types of malignant and benign pathology, dentoalveolar surgery, cosmetic procedures, craniomaxillofacial trauma, temporomandibular joint surgery, and orthognathic surgery. Somatosensory loss and/or impairment of motor function in the head and neck can impart significant morbidity for patients post-operatively, and can have a substantial impact on a patient’s quality of life. Restoration of nerve structure and function to correct post-operative sensory or motor deficits represents an important tool in head and neck reconstructive surgery. Advances in microneurosurgical techniques and the introduction of improved materials have permitted surgeons to optimize results, especially with the introduction of biologics including conduits, connectors, and processed allogenic nerve grafts, without any additional morbidity to the patient. The authors present an overview of nerve repair in the head and neck, with a focus on post-ablative defects, and the use of allografts in nerve reconstructive surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine
Issue numberAugust
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Head and neck
  • Nerve allografts
  • Nerve reconstruction
  • Nerve repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery


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