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When do you need surgery for trigeminal neuralgia?

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Over time, your medication may help less and less. That’s common among people with trigeminal neuralgia. If that happens, your doctor may suggest surgery.

Procedures include:

  • Microvascular decompression, which moves or takes out blood vessels that affect the nerve.
  • Gamma knife radiosurgery, which uses radiation focused on your trigeminal nerve.
  • Rhizotomy, which destroys nerve fibers.

From: What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- Trigeminal Neuralgia.”

American Association of Neurological Surgeons: “Conditions and Treatments -- Trigeminal Neuralgia.”

TNA Facial Pain Association: “What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia?”

New York Presbyterian Hospital: “Health Library -- Trigeminal Neuralgia.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Trigeminal Neuralgia Fact Sheet.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 23, 2018

SOURCES: Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- Trigeminal Neuralgia.”

American Association of Neurological Surgeons: “Conditions and Treatments -- Trigeminal Neuralgia.”

TNA Facial Pain Association: “What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia?”

New York Presbyterian Hospital: “Health Library -- Trigeminal Neuralgia.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Trigeminal Neuralgia Fact Sheet.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 23, 2018

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Are there alternative treatments for trigeminal neuralgia?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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