Stereotactic Radiosurgery Delays In Trigeminal Neuralgia

People who suffer from the pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia may find a surgical procedure helps them lessen symptoms. Delays in considering this option, however, can hamper results. While the use of stereotactic radiosurgery may be held back as a last-resort option, research is indicating there is a possible window for its effectiveness in helping patients.

A recent study looked at the benefits of stereotactic radiosurgery, also called gamma knife surgery, in treating trigeminal neuralgia. Researchers found this procedure produces its greatest results when it is performed within three years of pain’s initial onset. Since the surgery has a strong record of helping patients by either reducing or eliminating pain, researchers say delays in treatment should be avoid.

Trigeminal neuralgia is a neurological condition that produces chronic pain in the trigeminal nerve. The condition often demands medical intervention because the nerve happens to be the one responsible for carrying sensations from the face to the brain. When trigeminal neuralgia develops, patients often find that even the slightest touch can produce extreme pain. While there are a number of treatments available, gamma knife surgery has one of the most successful track records.

Stereotactic radiosurgery is performed by using a highly targeted dose of radiation. The radiation beam is pointed at the very root of the nerve to damage it. This, in turn, alleviates those messages of pain that brain may receive when the face is touched. While outcomes from gamma knife surgery cannot be guaranteed many patients report a significant decrease in pain or a complete elimination of it.

Living with trigeminal neuralgia is not easy, but help does exist. Patients diagnosed with this chronic condition should discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers. Gamma knife surgery may very well offer the best results, but research suggests the optimum window to achieve results is limited.

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