Trigeminal neuralgia is a medical condition characterized by flashing pain attacks in the facial region. The attacks last only seconds but may appear in series.
Attacks can often be triggered by eating, talking or touching the skin. Trigeminal neuralgia is caused by a vascular compression of the trigeminal nerve, and symtoms can be managed using medication or surgery.
The first step: The right diagnosis
Diagnosis is completed by evaluating the pain history, a neurological examination and high resolution imaging (MRI). Medical history, complaints and full overview of medication that have been tried along with dosage/change in dosage is important part of the anamnesis.
In early stages of the disease, anti-epileptic drugs can help patients cope with the attacks. However, these medications tend to lose their effectiveness over time. If conservative treatment is no longer working or the side effects of the drugs restrict the patient's quality of life, an invasive treatment may be indicated.
Invasive treatment options may include:
- Microvascular decompression, known as a "Janetta operation"
- Controlled thermolesion of the Ganglion Gasseri
Premier Healthcare Germany works with some of Germany's top neurosurgery centers, including the Asklepios Westklinikum hospital in Altona Hamburg, whose neurosurgery department is specialized in diagnosing and treating trigemnal neuralgia. Contact us to come in contact with a German neurologist who can make a treatment recommendation for your individual case.