An Interview with Mary Jo Buttafuoco
Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot in the face on May 19, 1992 in Long Island, New York. The incident caused facial disfigurement, hearing loss in the right ear, and facial paralysis on the right side of Buttafuoco’s face.
In this episode of the Smile podcast, Buttafuoco shares her story of personal strength and perseverance with globally renowned facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Babak Azizzadeh. Buttafuoco also discusses how she recovered from her gunshot wound and what she learned from her treatment experience.
Buttafuoco’s Story: Here’s What You Need to Know
At age 37, Buttafuoco’s life changed when she was shot in the face. Several of her facial nerves were damaged and her carotid artery was severed during the incident. Buttafuoco was also unable to smile, due to the fact that half of her face was paralyzed.
Buttafuoco survived a gunshot to the face, but she dealt with a dark period after the incident. In the weeks, months, and years following the incident, Buttafuoco was self-conscious about her facial appearance and struggled with a lack of self-confidence.
In 2005, Buttafuoco appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Buttafuoco met with Dr. Azizzadeh shortly after the appearance, and ultimately, he was able to treat her facial deformities.
How Did Dr. Azizzadeh Treat Buttafuoco’s Facial Deformities?
Dr. Azizzadeh used his expertise to develop and execute a complex facial reconstruction treatment plan designed to help Buttafuoco regain the ability to produce a natural smile. The treatment plan included multiple procedures that improved facial harmony and facial muscle coordination and movement.
For Buttafuoco’s treatment, Dr. Azizzadeh performed a facial reanimation procedure that involved static facial suspension, a facelift, and an eyelid lift. Dr. Azizzadeh also widened Buttafuoco’s ear canal to improve her hearing and recommended physical physical therapy to strengthen the facial muscles.
The treatment was successful, and months later, Buttafuoco returned to The Oprah Winfrey Show to share her results. Since that time, Buttafuoco has become an advocate for facial paralysis treatment, and she has inspired others dealing with facial deformities to explore treatment options.
What Can People Dealing with Facial Deformities Learn from Buttafuoco?
Following her surgeries, Buttafuoco has used her story to raise awareness of facial paralysis.
It can be tough to find support to deal with the physical, emotional, and social ramifications of facial deformities, Buttafuoco pointed out. However, the trauma associated with facial deformities can be managed, and those who pursue treatment options can get the help they need to reduce or eliminate these issues.
Buttafuoco also stated that people cannot change the past, but they can change themselves. Yet, people dealing with facial deformities can find out what options are available to manage these problems. They can then work with medical professionals to safely and effectively treat their facial deformities. And over time, these people can enhance their facial appearance and boost their self-confidence.
Learn More About Buttafuoco’s Story
Buttafuoco’s story is powerful, and it shows that surgery can help patients simultaneously restore their facial appearance and mitigate the physical, emotional, and social ramifications of facial deformities. To learn more about Buttafuoco and her inspiring story, listen to this episode of the Smile podcast today.