Mary Jo Buttafuoco has undergone a surgery to repair her partially paralyzed face after she was shot by her husband's teenage lover in 1992, and the results are remarkable.
Buttafuoco, 62, told Inside Edition she is always reminded about the moment she was shot by then-16-year-old Amy Fisher in front of her home in Long Island, N.Y., every time she looked in the mirror.
As a result of the shocking crime, Buttafuoco was left with a partially paralyzed face and unable to smile.
“It affects your self-esteem," she said. "It does, when you can't put on a bright smile.”
After the shooting, her husband, Joey, served six months in prison for statutory rape.
His teenage old lover, dubbed the “Long Island Lolita,” was sentenced to seven years.
But Mary Jo Buttafuoco was left ashamed by her injuries.
“I was out in public with a very paralyzed, deformed face,” she said.
In 2003, Mary Jo and Joey finally split, but she remained anguished by her physical appearance. Her damaged facial muscles also appeared to be deteriorating.
Inside Edition went with Mary Jo As she met with Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, a surgeon who has developed a pioneering procedure that he believes will fix the smile that haunts her daily.
Dr. Azzizadeh is one of the only physicians in the world who performs facial nerve surgery.
“There are certain muscles that are obstructing her from smiling so we are going to rewire her nerves,” Dr. Azzizadeh said.
Buttafuoco's daughter, Jessie, whom she had with Joey, says repairing her mom's smile would mean the world to them.
“She doesn't think of herself as pretty [or] beautiful and it's completely the opposite,” he proud daughter said. "She is the most beautiful person I know inside and out."
Dr. Azzizadeh used a nerve stimulator to tag which microscopic nerves are working and which are misfiring before the surgery.
“Believe it or not, some of the nerves are actually causing her smile to get worse,” he said.
He also gave her a facelift to even out how she's aging differently on both sides.
After the surgery, Buttafuoco went home to heal. Two months later, she unveiled the results.
“It’s the first time in 25 years that when I smile, I can see the side of my teeth,” Buttafuoco said.
Inside Edition caught up with her at an event for the facial paralysis institute where her doctor and daughter were impressed by the transformation.