Trigeminal Neuralgia Surgery

Neurosurgeons at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) perform intricate trigeminal neuralgia surgery. We offer microvascular decompression surgery and Gamma Knife® Icon™ radiation therapy to relieve pain and improve your quality of life.

Our expert neurosurgeons provide skilled, effective surgical care for people with trigeminal neuralgia, a type of nerve pain. We are experts in a complex procedure that accesses the nerve to stop the pain. We also offer stereotactic radiosurgery, a type of advanced radiation therapy.

Trigeminal neuralgia is also known as tic douloureux. It is a type of nerve pain that affects the trigeminal or fifth cranial nerve of your face. When the nerve is irritated – often by pressure from a blood vessel – it causes pain.

When more conservative treatments such as medication or acupuncture do not work, surgery may be an option. LVHN neurosurgeons perform highly specialized procedures to provide long-term pain relief for people with trigeminal neuralgia.

Microvascular decompression surgery

We perform this intricate surgery, which is normally performed as an open procedure, using minimally invasive techniques. During the procedure we:

  1. Access the trigeminal nerve
  2. Gently move the blood vessel that is pressing on the nerve
  3. Place a specialized cushion between the nerve and blood vessel to stop the vessel from pressing on the nerve

Gamma Knife radiation therapy

Stereotactic radiosurgery, using the Gamma Knife Icon device, is not a surgical procedure and involves no incisions. We direct targeted radiation beams to the trigeminal nerve. The radiation causes a lesion to form, which stops the transmission of pain signals to the brain. After this procedure, patients experience a gradual improvement in symptoms.

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Learn more in our free guide, covering questions like what Gamma Knife is to how it protects healthy tissue.

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