J.S. (62 years old, hemifacial spasm), Sun Valley, California

May 1, 2017 by VNI0

I had developed a facial spasm some years ago that eventually went away on its own.  Then, in 2015, the facial spasm came back with a vengeance.  What initially began as a mild eyelid flutter soon developed into a facial spasm running the length of the left side of my face.  It got so bad that I became very self-conscious and, when not at work, began to stay home more and more out of embarrassment.

In preparation for my daughter’s April 2016 wedding, I saw my eye doctor who injected Botox to help with the spam.  Unfortunately, that was not a successful solution.  After months of searching for the right doctor, I was happy to find one in my own backyard (St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank, California).

Dr. Joung Lee examined me, looked at test results, and confirmed the diagnosis of hemifacial spasm.  He then recommended a microvascular decompression (MVD) – in simple terms, a “brain surgery” to relieve the pressure off of the facial nerve by inserting a Teflon felt between the offending artery and the nerve.  I was a nervous wreck but Dr. Lee was so compassionate and informative that he put me totally at ease, especially during my brief hospital stay.  His office staff and nurses are extremely cordial and helped me every step of the way.  (My procedure was done in September 2016).  The follow up since the procedure has been top notch. 

Today, I am happy to report that the surgery was 100% successful.  My only regret is not finding Dr. Lee sooner!


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