Trigeminal Neuralgia Surgery

Trigeminal neuralgia is severe facial pain with a very specific pattern. This pain is so severe that it can devastate the life of the sufferer and those close to them.

The trigeminal nerve supplies sensation to the face, and powers muscles of the face involved in chewing.

Trigeminal neuralgia usually involves one side of the face. One or two divisions of the trigeminal nerve may be involved for any one specific patient. The attacks are discrete and episodic. There may be long periods (months even) between attacks. 

The pain of trigeminal neuralgia is typically described as electric/ lancinating or shooting and limited to the distribution of the trigeminal nerve. There are typical triggers such as eating, brushing teeth, or wind blowing across the face.

When patients with trigeminal neuralgia are examined their doctor will usually not find any physical abnormality related to the trigeminal nerve. There are both medical and surgical methods to treat trigeminal neuralgia.

The most common medical treatment is carbamazepine. Depending on your specific circumstances, surgical management may involve an injection in your cheek or a brain operation. A brain operation involves an incision behind your ear on the side of your pain. The nerve is identified and one of the normal blood vessels of the brain compressing the nerve will be moved to take the pressure away from the nerve.