A musician communicates with sound and song, but also with his face. So for Phil, a concert performer, the onset of hemifacial spasm was doubly worrisome. Not only was it irritating, it also made him uncomfortable on stage. To hide the twitching of his right eye and the downward draw of the right side of his face, Phil found himself turning his head away from his audience, something he had never done before. As the condition worsened, Phil sought treatment from John M. Tew, MD, a Mayfield Clinic neurosurgeon with special expertise in cranial nerves disorders. Dr. Tew found that an artery was putting undue pressure on Phil’s seventh cranial nerve, which controls the muscles in his face. In a procedure known as a microvascular decompression, Dr. Tew carefully lifted up the artery and placed a Teflon sponge between the artery and the nerve. A few weeks later, his face no longer twitching, Phil was ready to meet his audiences head-on. “As you can see,” he said with a broad smile, “my face is calm, cool and collected.”
Hope Story Disclaimer -"Phil's Story" is about one patient's health-care experience. Please bear in mind that because every patient is unique, individual patients may respond to treatment in different ways. Results are influenced by many factors and may vary from patient to patient.