How to Alleviate Pain Caused by Trigeminal Neuralgia

Research stereotactic radiosurgery (or gamma knife). This procedure uses computer imaging to send focused radiation to the trigeminal nerve.[20]

  • During the procedure, the radiation creates a lesion of the trigeminal nerve, which disrupts sensory signals to the brain and reduces pain.
  • Patients can often leave the hospital the same day or the day following the procedure.
  • Most patients who undergo gamma knife report pain relief after a few weeks or months but pain often reoccurs within three years.
  • Try microvascular decompression (MVD). MVD is the most invasive surgical procedure for trigeminal neuralgia. During surgery your doctor makes a hole behind the ear. Then, using an endoscope to visualize the trigeminal nerve, your doctor will place a cushion between the nerve and the blood vessel that compresses the nerve.[21]
    • The recovery time for this procedure varies from person to person and often requires a hospital stay.
    • This is the most effective surgical treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. About 70-80% of patients have immediate, complete pain relief and 60-70% remain pain free at 10-20 years.[22]

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