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Trigeminal Neuralgia can sometimes be treated without surgery that requires a general anesthetic. In this video, Dr. McLaughlin explains the available options.
There are other procedures that can be utilized to treat trigeminal neuralgia. One is a rhizotomy procedure, where the nerve is manipulated, either by an alcohol injection, heat, or balloon compression to alleviate the pain.
This procedure can be done without general anesthesia, and has a good success rate. Unfortunately, these types of procedures often make the face a little bit numb. It's sort of like trading the pain out for numbness.
Another option is stereotactic radiosurgery. This is a newer technique for people who cannot tolerate general anesthesiam or for those who choose not to have a rhizotomy, or microvascular decompression.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is the delivery of high doses of radiation, pinpointed on the trigeminal nerve. Similar to a rhizotomy, it seems to decrease the nerve pain, by causing a mild injury, selectively to the pain fibers within the nerve. Stereotactic radiosurgery has been proved to be effective in treating trigeminal neuralgia and is especially effective in elderly patients not health enough to undergo general anesthesia.
This procedure has been demonstrated to be safe and effective, however in my opinion it should not be the first option for patients healthy enough to undergo Microvascular Decompression (MVD).
Sometimes a combination of treatments maybe necessary for severe trigeminal neuralgia refractory (resistant) to treatment.
Princeton Brain & Spine Care surgeon Mark McLaughlin, M.D. trained with Peter Jannetta, M.D., the "father" of modern microvascular decompression surgery for trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, and other cranial nerve rhizopathies. Dr. McLaughlin worked closely with Dr. Jannetta in the ongoing research, and was the lead author of the paper "Microvascular decompression of cranial nerves: lessons learned after 4400 operations" published in the Journal of Neurosurgery in January 1999. On PUBMED
LastUpdate: 2016-05-08 21:23:10