This strategy permits the direct suture repair of severed nerve ends that do not quite reach each other without the need for a graft repair. This strategy works well if the nerve gap is less than 2 centimeters.
The entubulation conduit is a special tube manufactured from collagen that guides the growing nerve fibers across the nerve gap into the distal cut end of the nerve. After regrowth occurs, the conduit is reabsorbed by the body. The conduits are sewn into place with delicate sutures using microsurgical technique.
Figure 1. Highly magnified intraoperative photograph of a patient with a facial nerve injury. Of the three branches that were injured, two underwent direct suture repair, and one required entubulation repair due to more extensive damage requiring resection of a portion of the injures branch. A Neuragen® conduit (C) successfully bridged the defect, and the patient made a full recovery.