To understand the treatment process better, we spoke to Dr Jaydev Panchwagh, an eminent Neurosurgeon from Pune (Maharashtra) with special interest in treating Trigeminal Neuralgia. For the last 12 years it has been his mission to take brain & spine surgery to the masses. Here’s what he had to say:
Please tell us the course of Trigeminal Neuralgia, or TN?
Dr JP: TN is a progressive disorder, after the initial episodes of excruciating pain there may a pain holiday because body tries to heal the nerve that is getting compressed by pulsating blood vessels that come too close to the nerve for comfort.
What are the treatment options?
Dr JP: TN patients may find relief with one medication called carbamazepine. It is the only pain suppressant that works on stabbing, burning, searing, and sometimes electric shock-like excruciating pain of TN. It acts by reducing nerve impulses. If the pain is controlled by smaller doses then the problem gets temporarily solved. If the patient comes back with pain despite taking carbamazepine then we have to increase the dose but there are limitations.