Services

Facial Pain and Hemifacial Spasm Center

At the Comprehensive Facial Pain and Hemifacial Spasm Center, our multidisciplinary team has tremendous expertise. Our goal is to help our patients to resume happy and productive lives without the constant burden of pain and medications. Using the most advanced and innovative neurosurgical care for movement disorders, we provide the full range of treatments to ensure that pain or spasms are controlled.

Trigeminal neuralgia is the most common of a family of disorders caused by spontaneous (non-traumatic) injury to a cranial nerve. Most cases are believed to result from impingement on the nerve by a vascular structure, usually an artery, causing demyelination and subsequent pathological electrical activity. Patients suffering from this disease report intermittent bouts of sharp, lancinating pain in the distribution of the trigeminal nerve or its three main branches. Hemifacial spasm and glossopharyngeal neuralgia are among the other, less common, spontaneous cranial nerve compression diseases, resulting from injury to the seventh and ninth cranial nerves, respectively.

Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most painful conditions known. It is characterized by the following features:
  • Paroxysms of pain lasting a few seconds to at most a few minutes.
  • The pain is intense and usually described as sharp, stabbing or electrical in nature.
  • The pain is often precipitated by tactile stimuli to specific and consistent trigger zones or by specific actions (such as chewing or talking).
  • The pain is usually limited to one side of the face.
Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia is an extreme pain in the back of the throat, tongue or ear. It is characterized by the following features:
  • Paroxysms of pain lasting a few seconds to at most a few minutes.
  • The pain is intense and usually described as sharp, stabbing, or electrical in nature.
  • The pain is often triggered by eating or swallowing.
  • The pain is limited to one side.
Hemifacial spasm is a disabling disorder where one side of the face twitches uncontrollably. It is characterized by the following features:
  • Paroxysms of facial twitching that can be episodic or nearly continuous.
  • Twitching often starts around the eye and then begins to involve the area around the mouth.
  • Twitching is limited to only one side of the face.
  • No weakness of face or facial muscles.

Our Team

Team Leader: Emad N. Eskandar, MD, MBA

Neurosurgery: Emad N. Eskandar, MD, MBA; Patrick A. LaSala, MD; James T. Goodrich, MD, PhD; Vijay Agarwal, MD

Treatments Offered

Our team offers treatments that include:

  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Glycerol rhizotomy
  • Microvascular decompression
  • Motor cortex stimulation
  • Nerve block
  • Percutaneous rhizotomy
  • Radiofrequency rhizotomy
  • Radiosurgery