Trigeminal Neuralgia: Face Pain & Treatment Options

Trigeminal Neuralgia: Face Pain & Treatment Options

By Christopher Loiselle, MD
Radiation Oncologist

October 7th was Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day and for many reading or hearing the stories, like the story on CNN.com, this condition may not be familiar.  However, for those suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, every day can be challenging.

Facial pain in Trigeminal Neuralgia is characterized by episodes of intense pain lasting from a few seconds to hours at a time. The attacks are often described as electric shock like, burning, pressing, crushing,  or shooting pain. Patients describe areas on the face as sensitive to the point that even a gentle breeze of wind can trigger an episode of pain.

Once diagnosed, trigeminal neuralgia can be treated with medications, surgical procedures or the Gamma Knife.  The Gamma Knife is an outpatient procedure precisely directing 192 beams of radiation to the root of the trigeminal nerve.  Most patients have a dramatic improvement in their pain.

Comments
Jamie Applington
Dr. Newell performed the decompression surgery in March, saved my life. I had lost 60 pounds, 3 teeth, and almost my family and my life. This crap is nasty. One can not come close to understanding it unless one had had to deal with it. Patients, do what you can to get treatment. Swedish is the best around, and the team there is the best. They are caring, compassionate and love what they do.
10/18/2013 9:52:52 AM
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About the Author

Christopher Loiselle, MD

Christopher Loiselle, MD
Radiation Oncologist

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