Free functional muscle transplants, which today can be performed without a reduction in the function of the donor site, are suitable for patients from 5 years to 75 years old. Free muscle transplants have successfully established themselves according to international standards for "reanimation" of the affected paralyzed half of the face and promise the best results in chronic paralysis after complete loss of the mimetic musculature. This procedure is only offered at specialized facial reconstruction centers that are capable of the entire spectrum of restoration, including microsurgical transplantation. In the case of chronic, i.e. prolonged, facial paralysis, this procedure represents gold standard for reconstruction according to international scientific criteria.
Various muscles are available as donors in the human body for this surgical procedure. When selecting the donor muscle, several factors must be considered including functional deficits after harvest, surgical accessibility, size, strength, and functional design of the muscle must be taken into account. The gracilis muscle has proven itself worldwide as one of the ideal thigh muscle donors for functional muscle transfers. The removal is accompanied by almost no loss of function, as there are several other muscles that can readily assume its function. Excellent results can be achieved with this muscle graft.