What is the efficacy of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) surgery?

Updated: Sep 30, 2019
  • Author: Kim J Burchiel, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The success rate of surgical treatment if trigeminal neuralgia (TN) varies according to the experience of the surgeon or the anesthesiologist; therefore, surgical treatment of TN should be performed only by experienced surgeons.

Surgical therapy can be divided into procedures on the trigeminal nerve or gasserian ganglion (external or percutaneous, usually performed by pain management specialists) and procedures on the nerve root (open-skull microvascular decompression [MVD], performed by neurosurgeons, and gamma knife surgery [GKS], performed by radiation therapists). MVD has an overall better success rate, but it is more invasive. Percutaneous techniques may be more accessible to elderly patients who are at high surgical risk.


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