Dr Catherine Meller

Dr Catherine Meller is an Otolaryngologist, Facial Nerve and Facial Reconstructive surgeon. She completed her specialist ENT training through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and graduated with honours from the University of Sydney Medical School.

Although based in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Dr Meller accepts appointments from anywhere in Australia, and offers both face-to-face appointments and TeleHealth video appointments.

Dr Meller offers cutting-edge facial reconstructive and facial nerve reanimation surgery, having spent 2 years at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and John Hopkins Baltimore, in the USA. She is trained extensively in medical and surgical aspects of treating patients with facial nerve disorders, skin cancers, functional rhinoplasty and facial concerns including congenital and post-traumatic conditions.

Understanding Facial Palsy and its Treatment

The term ‘facial palsy’ refers to weakness of the facial muscles resulting from temporary or permanent damage to the facial nerve. There are many causes of facial weakness include infections, tumours (and their treatment) and trauma.



When the facial nerve is damaged, the muscles in the face do not receive the necessary signals from the brain in order to operate properly. This results in the paralysis of the affected part of the face. There are different degrees of facial paralysis: sometimes one side of the face is affected (unilateral facial paralysis) and in some cases both sides of the face are affected (bilateral facial paralysis).

Facial palsy may last for weeks or months and may become permanent. In some cases there are periods of pain and discomfort, and other symptoms such as hearing loss and dizziness are common. The recovery from facial palsy can be slow and some people never fully recover.

Some patients may have problems with muscle spasm and abnormal movements that affect the eye and mouth, called synkinesis. Dr Meller offers a range of treatments for this condition.

Synkinesis before Botox treatment

Synkinesis Before Treatment

After Botox treatment

1 Month After Treatment

In some cases, such as after brain tumour surgery, there is no visible movement of the face (a condition called flaccid facial paralysis). This condition causes significant disability, with difficulty eating, speaking and loss of smile. Dr Meller offers several innovative surgeries that can improve facial symmetry and potentially regain the ability of a patient to smile.

Left facial palsy before surgery

Facial Palsy Eyelid Surgery

Left facial palsy after eyelid surgery

Facial Palsy Eyelid Surgery

Left facial palsy after smile surgery

Dr Meller sees patients and operates in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, North Shore and oversees the Facial Nerve Clinic at Prince of Wales Hospital Randwick. For more information about this monthly multidisciplinary service (including referrals and patient resources about facial palsy), please go to https://www.doctorcath.com.au/treating-facial-nerve-disorders