Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 161, Issue 10, pp 2035–2042 | Cite as

The long-term effects of microvascular decompression on social phobia and health-related quality of life in patients with hemifacial spasm: a 3-year prospective study

  • Young Goo Kim
  • Won Seok Chang
  • Hyun Ho Jung
  • Jin Woo ChangEmail author
Original Article - Functional Neurosurgery - Other
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Functional Neurosurgery – Other



Although not a life-threatening condition, hemifacial spasm (HFS) frequently leads to social phobia because it causes significant facial disfigurement and consequently reduces health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The purpose of the current study was to examine the long-term effects of MVD on psychological aspects and HRQoL in HFS patients with social anxiety over a 36-month follow-up.


Thirty patients with HFS who underwent MVD from January 2015 to May 2015 were included in this prospective study. Clinical data, including standardized measures of general anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS)), social anxiety (Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS)), and the severity of HFS, were collected postoperatively, and 6 months and 36 months after MVD. Likewise, data on HRQoL were collected at baseline, and 6 months and 36 months after MVD using the Korean version of the Short Form 36 (SF-36).


Twenty-two patients who completed the 36-month follow-up were classified into social phobia group and non-social phobia group based on the LSAS total scores of 60. Repeated measures analysis of variance demonstrated significant differences between the two groups over time for the total LSAS score (p < 0.001), anxiety subscale score of the HADS (p = 0.002), and the Mental Component Summary (MCS) (p = 0.046) of the SF-36. A comparison of these two groups in terms of differences observed in their scales at 6 months after MVD has shown that the improvements of the social phobia group in HADS anxiety subscale (p = 0.010), LSAS total score (p = 0.008), and MCS (p = 0.040) were significantly more improved than the those of non-social phobia group. And at 36 months after surgery, the improvement of the scales mentioned above was maintained, and additionally Vitality (p = 0.040) and Mental Health (p = 0.040) dimensions showed a statistically significant improvement.


The improvements previously observed in psychological aspects and HRQoL over a short-term follow-up after MVD in HFS patients with social phobia were maintained for at least 36 months after MVD.


Health-related quality of life Hemifacial spasm Microvascular decompression Social phobia Leibowitz Social Anxiety Scale 



Hemifacial spasm


Microvascular decompression


Health-related quality of life


Leibowitz Social Anxiety Scale


Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale


Short Form 36


Physical Functioning




Bodily Pain


General Health




Social Functioning




Mental Health


Physical Component Summary


Mental Component Summary


Repeated measures analysis of variance


Compliance with ethical standard

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Ewha Womans University Mokdong HospitalEwha Womans University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery, Brain Research InstituteYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea

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