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Neurosurgical treatment of primary hemifacial spasm with microvascular decompression

In nearly all cases, primary hemifacial spasm is related to arterial compression of the facial nerve in the root exit zone at the brainstem. The offending arterial loops originate from the posterior inferior cerebellar, anterior inferior cerebellar, or vertebrobasilar artery. In as many as 40% of the patients, neurovascular conflicts are multiple. The cross-compression at the brainstem is almost always seen on magnetic resonance imaging combined with magnetic resonance angiography. Botulinum toxin can be useful by alleviating the symptoms, but the effects are inconstant and only transient. The definitive conservative treatment is microvascular decompression (MVD), which cures the disease in 85 to 95% of patients. In expert hands, the MVD procedure can be done with relatively low morbidity. Because cure of spasms is frequently delayed – by several months to even a few years -, we do not recommend early reoperation in patients with failure or until at least 1 year of follow-up. Delayed cure could well be explained by the slow reversal of the plastic changes in the facial nucleus that may have caused the symptom


April 10, 2009 - Posted by | 1


  1. can drug FELBAMATE be used in HFS before going for surgery

    Comment by Aruna | April 8, 2010 | Reply

  2. I was under treatment but my insurance is dening me for more Botox, which was helping. I was wondering what would happen ,if I don’t get treatmen. This condition really interfer with me reading, sleeping and dangerous when I drive. The right close completely. I don’t know what else to do.

    Comment by Gwendolyn Turner | January 18, 2011 | Reply

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