Survival Rate and Recovery for Hemifacial Spasms

Hemifacial spasms are not dangerous, fatal, or life-threatening.

They can, however, cause a significant amount of distress, frustration, or disruption to your daily life.

Hemifacial spasm quality of life can be challenging. The stressors of HFS can negatively impact your well-being.

Thankfully, there are many treatment options available to alleviate symptoms and regain your peace.

Does a Hemifacial Spasm Ever Go Away?

HFS is generally considered a chronic, progressive motor movement disorder meaning it is typically long-lasting with worsening symptoms overtime.

Only one in ten people (10%) will experience spontaneous improvement or resolution of the condition.

However, there are treatment options available to reduce symptoms, or even provide complete relief. The most common intervention options include:

Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections

Use of botox injections is typically the first course of treatment due to its high success rate and rapid results via a minimally invasive process. 

Perhaps best known for as a cosmetic treatment, botox injections are a common medical intervention for a wide range of neuromuscular conditions, including HFS. 

When used for severe spasms, Dr. Morrison will inject this neurotoxin into the affected area to chemically create facial palsy, preventing involuntary motor contractions. 

One consideration of this intervention is its relatively short-term effectiveness requiring on-going maintenance. 

Most patients with HFS typically require botulinum toxin injections every 3 to 6 months to retain its benefits. 

Microvascular decompression surgery

The most common surgical approach for HFS relief, microvascular decompression involves opening the skull or soft tissue covering the facial nerve to locate the compressing blood vessel. 

The surgeon then inserts a barrier, typically a sponge material, to create space between the vessel and the affected nerve to alleviate the pressure. 

This approach is considered highly successful with approximately 85% of patients experiencing complete symptom relief. 

A rare complication after this procedure is hearing loss.

Natural treatment options

Some natural treatment options that may help reduce symptoms include taking vitamins for hemifacial spasm like B1 (thiamine) and B12, as deficiencies in these vitamins have been linked to increased muscle spasms and twitches.

Magnesium supplements may also provide relief by helping to relax the muscles. 

Additionally, some individuals find benefits from applying warmth to the affected area or trying massage therapy to loosen up the tight facial muscles.

Other surgical techniques for HFS may involve bifurcating or a facial nerve block to eliminate the uncontrolled spasms. 

Some medications may also be prescribed to help reduce the nerve malfunction. Dr. Morrison will share his specific treatment recommendations after reviewing your unique medical history and symptom experiences.

Partner with Your HFS Experts at the Morrison Clinic

Dr. Morrison and the Morrison Clinic team are proud to be your expert South Florida neurosurgical providers in treating hemifacial spasm. 

We understand how frustrating and exhausting living with HFS is. 

Our specialists are highly skilled at evaluating, diagnosing, and treating hemifacial spasms and are passionate about providing you excellent care.

You do not have to endure the challenges of life with hemifacial spasms. 

There are many effective treatment options to reduce and even completely alleviate symptoms. To learn more about how Morrison Clinic can help you tackle your hemifacial spasms, contact us today for your free consultation.