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Hemifacial spasm

Hemifacial spasm

Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is a rare neuromuscular disease characterized by irregular, involuntary
muscle contractions (spasms) on one side of the face. Spasms can start in the lower eyelid and
with time progress downward toward the mouth and the jaw. This disorder occurs in both men
and women, although it affects middle-aged or elderly women more frequently. It may be caused
by a facial nerve injury, a tumor, or it may have no apparent cause. Usually, MRI of the brain is
required to rule out intracranial pathology. When no apparent cause is found, treatment options
include surgical intervention by neurosurgery or non-surgical injection of Botulinum toxin.
Botulinum toxin is highly effective in the treatment of hemifacial spasm. It has a high success
rate, but repeated injections may be required every 3 to 4 months. The injections are
administered as an outpatient or office procedure. Minor side effects can occur; however, they
are never permanent. Repeated injections over the years remain highly effective.

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