What is Hemifacial Spasm?
Hemifacial Spasm, which is also known as a facial twitch, is a frequent involuntary twitch on one side of the face. In most cases, the twitching starts around the eye area and progresses to other parts of the face. The neck and forehead are usually the last parts of the face to be affected by hemifacial spasm.
As time progresses, the patient will have prolonged muscle contractions in the affected areas of the face. These extended contractions result in severe disfiguring and grimace in the face as well as eye closure and the corner of the mouth being pulled upwards on one side.
Hemifacial spasm is caused by a blood vessel pressing on the facial nerve where the nerve exits the brainstem. This is a debilitating disease that can greatly affect one’s quality of life.
Symptoms of Hemifacial Spasm
Hemifacial Spasm patients have experienced some or all of the following symptoms:
- Irregular twitching in the eyelid muscle.
- Twitching can lead to a forced closure of the eye.
- Spasm can spread to other muscles in the lower part of the face.
- Spasm can cause the mouth to pull to one side.
- Although rare, spasm can be on both sides of the face.
Treatments for Hemifacial Spasm
If you’re experiencing hemifacial spasm, it’s likely that the first thing on your to-do list is to explore your treatment options. With the help of a seasoned neurosurgeon, you can breathe easy knowing you will soon find relief.
Botox injections can also be used, with limited success. Unfortunately, they generally wear off fairly rapidly and don’t provide an adequate level of relief from symptoms. They can also cause unwanted numbness in other parts of the face and neck.
Ultimately, the best and most effective treatment for most cases of hemifacial spasm is microvascular decompression surgery (MVD). This procedure typically provides sufferers with instant relief from the symptoms of their hemifacial spasm. And, unlike during treatments such as Botox, the nerve is in no way compromised.
In the majority of cases, hemifacial spasm is caused by a blood vessel, such as a vein or artery, pressing up against the nerve, causing the nerve to misfire. MVD involves placing a small Teflon sponge between the two structures, creating a cushion that protects the nerve from the pulsing of the blood vessel. Recovery from MVD is relatively short, and noticeable relief is usually immediate.
Why Choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey
At Neurosurgeons of NJ our patients come first. Our doctors specialize in treating facial conditions, including the treatment of hemifacial spasm. All of our surgeons are board-certified and have vast experience in working with individuals who require specialized care depending on the specifics of their condition. They will treat you as the unique individual you are, rather than a number on a list of insurance claims.
In addition to experienced specialists, Neurosurgeons of New Jersey offers the convenience of five locations, ensuring you don’t have to travel far to find the top care in the industry. You owe it to yourself to seek the best treatment possible. Neurosurgeons of New Jersey can help you on your path to recovery from hemifacial spasm and its debilitating symptoms.