Post- Op Hemifacial Spasm Surgery

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I had decompression surgery 6 weeks ago at Salt Lake City University Hospital by a doctor who is one of the best. He stated the surgery was a success but I still have face spasms sometimes worse than before. I am so concerned about my recouvery. My left ear was affected with partial loss of hearing but I keep training it by listening to phone calls. It is difficult to hear in large group noising areas (cafe's with music in the background). I have returned to work part-time but I still get tired after 4 hours. I have heard it could take up to months even years to recover and that some do a 2nd surgery. I won't do a 2nd surgery my body took a big hit from the first one and the first 2 weeks I had to use a walker. Thank God I keep progressing. I am 57 yrs old .Any suggestions on recovery?

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  • Posted

    Hi Jae

    You've probably heard this before, but this is a BIG operation and only patience and time will see you fully recovered.  You have done very well to return to work so soon after surgery and your body is probably rebelling a bit because it still wants you to be resting.   It is unusual to have spasms which are worse than before the surgery, so this is a bit concerning but not necessarily a bad sign.  My surgeon told me that it takes 4 months to recover fully and that spasms can take even longer to gradually disappear.  It's great that you are making progress and my best advice would be to really give in to your tiredness whenever you can.  It took me around 3 months to have any energy after my surgery and it was probably nearer to a year when I felt completely me again.  Hope and pray that all will be well for you.  I know some people have been prescribed vitamins etc as they recover but not sure if they actually do much good unless you are proven to be deficient.  Take care and get well soon.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Roseann for your response. I know that this is a different type of surgery and patience and rest is needed. I just wish the spasms were gone. I do have moments of peace smile However I am so use to being active that this is making me slow down...not a bad thing. Things could be worse. I count my blessings everyday.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jae,

    thank you for telling your story and sharing your concerns with us- and well done for having the surgery- a big decision in itself. Sorry to hear that your hearing isn't brilliant.

     A year after having the op myself, I now see the surgery is a beginning rather than an end-I very much wanted it to be a definitive " conclusion"  after all the years of stress and anxiety that preceded it, but I've learned that it takes time to get well and strong again-and especially to truly believe that its been successful.  I know what you mean about spasms returning post operatively with increased strength. This was certainly my experience for the first few weeks after the op, and this was tough- ( it must be hard also for you). Keep your" chin up" though as you don't have any real evidence that it hasn't worked. It's common for spasms to persist for months after the operation ( my experience certainly) and normal to see every one as further evidence of failure, but this is distorted thinking as you can't know how it will be in 6 months. Stay optimistic. We hope to hear good things from you about your progress in the months ahead.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jae,

    I had MVD surgery three months ago at Jefferson U. Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.  I was fortunate to awake from surgery spasm-free.  I must agree with you that the recovery is rough.  I was dizzy and nauseous when I first came home.  I did not use a walker; however, I did have a shower chair.  I was dizzy for two solid months and did not drive or return to work until two weeks ago.  I still experience a loud ringing in my left ear but have not had any hearing loss.  I just saw my surgeon yesterday for a check-up.  He told me that it takes a year to bounce back from this kind of surgery.  He also told me that some patients continue to have spasms after surgery.  I am 64 years old and would not consider having the surgery again.  Recovery was much more difficult than I anticipated.  Hang in there, be patient, and hopefully your spasms will subside.  Try to get as much rest as you can and allow your body to heal.  I will keep you in my thoughts and hope to hear that things are improving.  Wishing you all the best!

    Sue 

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    • Posted

      Thank you Sue for your input. I was off work for 4 wks and have gone back to part-time (no more than 20 hrs a week) for the last two weeks and realized I still need to be part-time for next week. You are right rest is needed ad my body tells me so.
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    • Posted

      Hi Jae,

      I was surprised at how long it took me to recover.  I live alone and it was hard for me to ask for help.  Luckily, I have a few great friends and some wonderful neighbors.  My son is 23 and is in school.  He came every day for a while, too.  It was a slow recovery process and I was frustrated that I could not do more sooner.  My brother is a surgeon and he kept reminding me that MVD is very serious surgery.  He told me over and over to rest, take it slowly, and let things go.  He was right!  I had surgery on 10/10/2014.  Soon it will be 4 months post-op, and I just returned to work two weeks ago.  I only work two days a week right now.  I work in a Hallmark card shop.   I will gradually increase those hours.  I'm a retired elementary school teacher, so I'm enjoying my time at home for now.  I urge you to take it slowly and get lots of rest.  You'll see, you'll feel better soon.

      Best wishes,

      Sue

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  • Posted

    Well it's been over three months and I am moving forward. My spasms are still therre but I do now have moments of peace. My vertigo is gone except for when I was working too hard in the yard this past weekend. Then I just stop and rest. My hearing comes and goes I cannot be in places with loud background noises. I have to put cotton in my left ear. Ido have alot of ringing at times. But the good news is I can sleep now and I am just trying to go with the flow.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the update Jae.  So pleased that you are seeing some progress and hope that there is more to come.  Sleep is a wonderful thing eh.  Keep fighting the good fight and believing that things can still improve further.  All best to you.
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