Hemifacial spasm is a condition which causes involuntary movements of the muscles on just one side of the face. The word ‘hemi’ means half therefore the name of the condition implies that it affects half side of the face. The involuntary spasms generally do not cause any pain to the patient. Hemifacial spasms can cause discomfort to the patient. The other name for hemifacial spasms is tic convulsive. Hemifacial spasms can be sporadic but as the condition worsens, hemifacial spasms can become more erratic and frequent and may cause interruption in normal activities of the patient.
Cause of hemifacial spasms:-
The muscles on our face are controlled by a facial nerve which comes out at the base of the ear. The five branches of this cranial nerve are responsible for controlling the movements of our face. Any type of damage to this nerve can cause involuntary twitching of the facial muscles causing hemifacial spasms. Problems in this nerve could arise due to a tumor compressing the nerve, damage to the nerve due to an accident, Bell’s palsy or some other maxillofacial injury that hurts the nerve. In most cases, hemifacial spasms are caused when the seventh cranial nerves is compressed by an artery.
Symptoms of hemifacial spasm:-
Generally, in almost all cases of hemifacial spasm, the twitching begins near the top of the face and progresses downwards. But in some cases spasms may begin near the chin and work their way upwards of the face. The hemifacial spasms may cause problem in opening the eyelids and may eventually cause half of the mouth to contract to one side. If no treatment is done for the hemifacial spasms, it can lead to all the muscles being contracted continuously.
Difference between hemifacial spasms and blepharospasm:-
Many people tend to confuse hemifacial spasms with blepharospasm. Blepharospasm refers to involuntary twitching of the eyelids that causes them to blink abnormally or continuously twitch. Blepharospasm is also a cranial disorder which affects only the eyelids. There are several differences between blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm. Blepharospasm does not affect any other facial feature other than the eyelids. In cases of blepharospasm the patient does not have any problems in the eyes but because of blepharospasm they have a problem with their vision. Blepharospasm causes disruption in the vision while it may not happen with hemifacial spasms. Unlike blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm affects all the facial muscles of one side including the eyelids.
Treatment of hemifacial spasms in India:-
The doctor can decide the best approach for treatment only after correctly diagnosing the cause of hemifacial spasms. Generally, the treatment in India begins with a MRI scan followed by different other types of imaging tests. Sometimes the best treatment approach for mild cases of hemifacial spasms could be muscle relaxants or some medicines which are anti- convulsants. But medications have their side effects. Therefore, to ensure that the treatment does not cause any side effects the patients are routinely monitored during the treatment at the top hospitals in India.
Botox for hemifacial spasms:-
One of the top treatments for hemifacial spasms is Botox. Botox blocks the nerve endings which send out the message for the muscle movement hence it works by relaxing the muscles involved. The effects of Botox begin to show within 2- 5 days of the treatment and the results become absolutely prominent within a fortnight. Before the Botox treatment is began, the facial muscles of the patient are evaluated to detect the extent of involvement of various muscles in spasms. All the muscles which are causing the hemifacial spasms are injected with Botox. The muscles which commonly are injected are the masseter, Zygomatic major, buccinators, corrugators, frontalis and the orbicularis oculi muscle. The dosage of Botox that is injected depends upon a particular muscle. However, generally up to 5 units of Botox are injected in each muscle for complete resolution. In most cases, low dosage of Botox is considered to be enough for curing hemifacial spasms. This treatment has its limitations. Generally, after a few years, treatment of hemifacial spasms with Botox becomes ineffective because our body develops anti- bodies which begin to resist the treatment.
Surgery for hemifacial spasms:-
If you are looking for a more permanent solution to hemifacial spasms in India, then surgery could be the best option for you. In India, all major hospitals in cities like Mumbai perform the surgery for hemifacial spasms. The common surgery that is performed in India for hemifacial spasms is known as microvascular decompression. This surgery is done not only for hemifacial spasms in India but also various other disorders of facial nerves. Surgery can be the permanent solution for hemifacial spasms. In this surgery, the blood vessel and the cranial nerve are separated to stop the spasms from occurring. In India, apart from Botox for hemifacial spasms generally surgery is considered to be the top standard treatment for spasms.
Dr. Shome who is the top facial plastic surgeon of India and who has his clinics in Mumbai has shared his insights on hemifacial spasms. He performs both Botox and surgery for hemifacial spasms in Mumbai. For most patients who come to him in Mumbai, he says post – surgery they can be discharged within two days. All the patients who get treatment from him in Mumbai generally find their spasms to have stopped immediately after the treatment. All the patients who come to Mumbai from all over India have varying degrees of the problem. He says not all patients require surgery. For some patients Botox may be enough but in some cases a combination of different therapies and surgery may be necessary. Most patients who go through this surgery from Dr. Debraj Shome in India do not need to undergo any other surgery. The complications after the surgery are very rare. You should choose the best doctor and top hospital in India for your surgery. If the surgery is not done well, the symptoms may return requiring you to undergo a secondary surgery. When performed by the best surgeon, microvascular decompression is highly effective. Therefore whom you choose as your doctor in India is very important. In India, the surgery for hemifacial spasms is done by varying methods and which method would be best for your case, will be decided by the surgeon.
Dr. Shome has a broad experience of various types of surgical treatments in Mumbai. At his clinics in Mumbai, Botox is given to the patients for the treatment of Hemifacial spasms. He says that his patients in Mumbai include men and women though a bigger number of female patients come to him to Mumbai for treatment. He is invited regularly to deliver lectures in schools and colleges of Mumbai to inspire young minds. He has established a chain of specialty cosmetic clinics in Mumbai which have the top facilities for all cosmetic issues you can think of. If you want to know about the best treatment or surgery for your hemifacial spasms, come to Mumbai. At The Esthetic Clinics in Mumbai, you will get the best guidance and treatment for your surgery.