Hemifacial Spasm

The Columbia University Hemifacial Spasm Center of Excellence provides comprehensive diagnostic, surgical, and follow-up care for individuals suffering from hemifacial spasms. This rare disorder affects individuals of all ages and results in a profoundly diminished quality of life for affected patients. Our mission is to deliver the highest quality evidence-based treatment for individuals with hemifacial spasms.

Watch Dr. Sekula explain hemifacial spasm:

Neurosurgery's Director, Facial Pain and Spasm Center, Raymond Sekula, MD explains hemifacial spasm

Our Approach to Care

Columbia experts can help with both the diagnosis and treatment of hemifacial spasms. 

Diagnosing Hemifacial Spasm

Our experts will start by performing a simple, painless test before you meet with our surgical team. Diagnostic facial musculature electromyography (EMG) is a highly specialized test that examines the facial nerve to diagnose or confirm the condition of hemifacial spasm. We also offer state-of-the-art MRI imaging. 

Treatment Options

Because oral medications are largely ineffective in diminishing the frequency and severity of facial spasms, botulinum toxin injections and microvascular decompression surgery remain the only options for patients. Increasingly, HFS patients are seeking an experienced surgeon to perform their microvascular decompression surgery. In this procedure, an expert will move a blood vessel away from the facial nerve and interpose a felt cushion between the blood vessel and the facial nerve through a small incision behind the ear.

Our Expertise

Internationally recognized for his work, Dr. Raymond Sekula has performed more than 1100 MVDS for hemifacial spasms and continually refined the procedure so that most patients will spend one or two nights only in the hospital without the need for the intensive care unit prior to discharge from the hospital.

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