Try balloon compression. The goal of balloon compression is to slightly damage the trigeminal nerve branches so that pain impulses cannot be transmitted.
- During the procedure, a small balloon is inserted into the skull through a catheter and as it inflates, the trigeminal nerve is pressed against the skull.
- This is typically an outpatient procedure that is performed under general anesthesia, although sometimes an overnight hospital stay is needed.
- Balloon compression results in about two years of pain relief.
- Many patients experience temporary facial numbness or weakness in muscles used for chewing after undergoing this procedure, but are generally relieved of pain symptoms.