Many people consult their primary care physicians when they first experience the symptoms of hemifacial spasm. Since the spasms may be caused (rarely) by a tumor or a vascular malformation, patients should be referred to a qualified neurosurgeon for evaluation before any treatment begins. At the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center, our Facial Pain Program includes specialists in cerebrovascular disorders, tumors, movement disorders, and nerve disorders.
A neurosurgeon experienced in movement disorders may prescribe injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) as an initial treatment with temporary results. More advanced cases, or for patients who seek permanent results, may require microdecompression surgery, which is best conducted at experienced neurosurgery centers (see Surgery for Hemifacial Spasm).
At the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center, the neurosurgical experts who treat hemifacial spasm include:
Philip E. Stieg, Ph.D., M.D., Chair of the Neurosurgery Department at Weill Cornell Medical Center and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Stieg specializes in cerebrovascular surgery, including the microvascular decompression surgery that relieves hemifacial spasm. More about Dr. Stieg
Michael Kaplitt, M.D., Ph.D. Vice Chair of the Neurosurgery Department at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Kaplitt specializes in functional neurosurgery and directs the department’s programs on movement disorders (including Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia), pain and spasticity, hemifacial spasm, and trigeminal neuralgia. More about Dr. Kaplitt
Jared Knopman, M.D., Director of Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventional Neuroradiology, specializes in the treatment of vascular diseases of the brain and spine and has dual expertise in both open neurosurgical and minimally invasive interventional techniques. Dr. Knopman has done specialized fellowship training in endovascular neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology at Weill Cornell Medical College and has surgical and interventional expertise in treating a diverse array of diseases of the brain and spine. Given his dual training, he is able to offer each patient and individualized treatment plan. (Read more about Dr. Knopman.)
These neurosurgeons lead teams of highly trained specialists across a range of disciplines to achieve the very best results for individuals suffering from hemifacial spasm.
Find out more about our Facial Pain Program.