Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatments 2017-01-31T09:24:07+00:00

Treating Trigeminal Neuralgia

Imagine for a moment, the simple pleasures of life – a kiss from a grandchild, or even brushing your teeth – as unbearably painful.  That’s what those with facial pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia go through every day.

Thanks to the world-class experts and technology at UAMS, if you suffer from facial pain – trigeminal neuralgia – a kiss doesn’t have to hurt.

Trigeminal Neuralgia and Daily Routines

People who suffer intense facial pain simply by eating, applying make-up or shaving, may have trigeminal neuralgia. This is a disorder of the fifth cranial (trigeminal) nerve and is often described as an episodic sharp shooting pain typically involving one side of the face. The discomfort may last a few brief seconds or extend for hours. In fact, many patients will go to their dentist believing their symptoms are related to their teeth and gums.

Treatment for trigeminal neuralgia can vary, depending on the patient. Medications are available for trigeminal neuralgia, and if the medications help, then surgery is not necessary. The three surgical treatment options are:

  • Microvascular decompression
  • Rhizotomy
  • Radiosurgery

The radiosurgery option is offered in our Gamma Knife Suite, where the world-class experts at UAMS, working with leading edge technology. UAMS is the only place in Arkansas that offers the Gamma Knife procedure.

Ionizing Radiation – Non-invasive

The Gamma Knife procedure requires no incision.  It utilizes precisely focused ionizing radiation in a single treatment session. Recovery time is short and in most cases, patients return to normal activities within a few days.

Painless Procedure

With the Gamma Knife, there is no incision, and the actual treatment is painless. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia with mild sedation. Patients are typically treated and discharged after a one-day hospital stay and can return to work, school and their pre-surgery lifestyle within 24 – 48 hours.

No Age Limit

Any patient with trigeminal neuralgia who has pain or has difficulty with the medicines used to relieve the pain is an excellent candidate for Gamma Knife radiosurgery. The patient’s age or medical condition does not affect the decision to have Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

Trigeminal Neuralgia Patient Profile

  • Patients typically experience onset of trigeminal neuralgia in their 50’s
  • Episodic sharp shooting pain typically on one side of the face

Gamma Knife Benefits

  • Noninvasive surgery
  • One treatment visit
  • One-day hospital stay and return to work within 24-48 hours
  • Very low morbidity
  • Over 10,000 trigeminal neuralgia patients treated in U.S.
  • 84% of trigeminal neuralgia patients treated experienced a reduction in pain

For more information or to find out if this treatment option is right for you, please call 501-603-1800 or email BaxterrhoadesKarenL@uams.edu to contact our UAMS Gamma Knife Coordinator Karen Baxter-Rhodes, RN.

For more information or questions about Gamma Knife at UAMS please call 501-603-1800 or email the UAMS Gamma Knife Coordinator
Karen Baxter-Rhodes, RN.