Arch Craniofac Surg.  2019 Dec;20(6):388-391. 10.7181/acfs.2019.00549.

Intramasseteric schwannoma treated with facelift incision and retrograde facial nerve dissection

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.


Schwannoma is a slow-growing, well-demarcated, benign soft tissue tumor of the peripheral nerve sheath. It commonly develops in the head and neck region, usually in the parapharyngeal space. In this case, a 42-year-old woman visited the outpatient department to manage a painless mass on her left cheek. She had no history of concern and no neurological symptoms were observed. In the enhanced computed tomography scan, a 2.8 × 2.8 × 1.8 cm, heterogeneously enhanced tumor was detected in the left masseter muscle. A tumor resection under general anesthesia was planned. For the resection, a facelift incision was chosen; branches of the facial nerve were identified and retrogradely dissected. A well-marginated, yellowish, solid mass was found in the left masseter muscle. The mass was excised and given a histopathological diagnosis of schwannoma. A definite diagnosis of schwannoma, originating in the masseter muscle, is difficult to arrive at with radiographic findings alone; it is often misdiagnosed as intramuscular hemangioma. Histopathological examinations, including fine-needle aspiration or histological biopsy after surgery, are necessary. Using a facelift incision with retrograde facial nerve dissection, tumor resection in an intramasseteric lesion can be performed efficiently, without nerve damage, or leaving conspicuous scars on the face.


Masseter muscle; Neurilemmoma; Rhytidoplasty
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