Bell's Palsy

Bell’s palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis and responsible for approximately half of all reported cases. The exact cause is unknown, but is often presumed to be due to a viral infection that causes swelling in and around the facial nerve leading to paralysis. Treatment of Bell’s palsy includes steroids and sometimes anti-viral medications, which can help to increase the chances of recovering normal facial function.

In rare cases, depending on neurophysiologic testing, surgical decompression of the nerve may afford more optimal recovery. For the roughly one-third of individuals who are left with residual facial weakness after an episode of Bell’s palsy, our team is dedicated to improving the burden that the persistent weakness can cause.

Synkinesis is the medical term for abnormal or unwanted movement of the face. This commonly occurs in patients who have recovered or partially recovered from a facial paralysis event, particularly Bell’s palsy. Learn about synkinesis >

Programs + Services


Ear, Nose + Throat (ENT) - Head + Neck Surgery

Tufts Medical Center's Department of Otolaryngology (ENT) in Boston treats a variety of conditions affecting the ears, nose, throat and sinuses.
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Facial Nerve Center

At the Facial Nerve Center, the Tufts Medical Center team provides care in order to improve facial function, aesthetics and quality of life.
More information about programs and services

Doctors + Care Team

Alexander P. Marston, MD

Alexander P. Marston, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Adult + Pediatric Otolaryngologist; Facial Plastic + Reconstructive Surgeon; Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Otolaryngology - Head + Neck Surgery, Pediatric Otolaryngology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-2820
Fax #: 617-636-1479

Pediatric airway management, head and neck masses, cleft lip and palate, mandibular distraction, vascular anomalies, congenital and acquired hearing loss, cochlear implants, facial nerve reanimation, nasal obstruction, septorhinoplasty, facial/Mohs reconstruction

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Arnold S. Lee, MD
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Arnold S. Lee, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Director, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Co-Director, Cleft Lip and Palate Program; Otolaryngologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Otolaryngology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-7702
Fax #: 617-636-1479

Facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, aesthetic facial plastic surgery, aging face rejuvenation, face lifts, brow lifts, blepharoplasty, septal deviation, rhinoplasty/revision rhinoplasty, cosmetic filler, lipodystrophy & lipatrophy of the head, face and neck, Mohs reconstruction, cleft lip and palate, trauma and craniofacial surgery, mandible and facial fractures, nasal obstruction, head and neck reconstruction following cancer resection

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Jonathon S. Sillman, MD, FACS
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Jonathon S. Sillman, MD, FACS

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Neurotologist; Otolaryngologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Otolaryngology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8724
Fax #: 617-636-1479

Neurotology, hearing loss, balance disorders, facial nerve disorders, skull base tumors, ear infections, cochlear implants

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Kathryn Y. Noonan, MD

Kathryn Y. Noonan, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Neurotologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Ear, Nose + Throat (ENT), Otolaryngology, Neurotology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8724
Fax #: 617-636-1479

Neurotology, hearing loss and other otologic disorders, including tinnitus and vertigo.

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Oscar Soto, MD

Oscar Soto, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Director, Neuromuscular Division; Assistant Professor, TUSM
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Neuromuscular disorders, EMG

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