If you have facial pain from trigeminal neuralgia, you may benefit from a surgical procedure to definitively manage your symptoms and return to your normal, active lifestyle. One surgery, called microvascular decompression surgery, is considered the gold standard in surgical procedures to treat trigeminal neuralgia.
Many New Jersey residents with trigeminal neuralgia have enjoyed full resolution of symptoms after microvascular decompression. A lot of times, many people try conservative treatments for their trigeminal neuralgia before opting to have surgery.
If you have worked with a facial pain clinic to conservatively manage your trigeminal neuralgia symptoms, but are still feeling the sharp, shooting pains that come with the diagnosis, then you may benefit from a consultation with an NJ neurosurgeon who treats facial pain and can perform microvascular decompression surgery.
When learning about your treatment options for trigeminal neuralgia, exploring microvascular decompression surgery is a good idea. The surgery is considered by many to be the definitive treatment for trigeminal neuralgia and facial pain.
A Closer Look at Microvascular Decompression Surgery in NJ
Microvascular decompression surgery, or MVD, is a surgical procedure designed to eliminate trigeminal neuralgia and facial pain symptoms. Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia may include:
- Sharp, shooting pain in your eye, ear, cheek or jaw
- Numbness or tingling
- Toothache or pain
- Hypersensitivity in your cheek or jaw
- Muscle spasms in your jaw
If you have these symptoms and your facial pain specialist has prescribed medication for your condition that is not working as it should, you should consult an NJ neurosurgeon who performs MVD surgery.
Microvascular decompression surgery is a procedure that is performed in a hospital. Your neurosurgeon will make a small incision behind your ear, and a quarter-sized portion of your skull will be removed.
Specialized surgical instruments will be used to locate and visualize your trigeminal nerve. Then, a small pad will be placed between your trigeminal nerve and the neighboring blood vessel. This pad will alleviate and buffer the pressure caused by the offending vessel on your trigeminal nerve.
After surgery, you will be brought to the recovery area where your doctor and the nursing staff will monitor your recovery. Microvascular decompression is brain surgery, so many people spend one night in an intensive care unit to ensure that recovery goes as smoothly as possible.
Every patient is different, so be sure to discuss your specific surgery with your doctor. He or she can help you understand what to expect from surgery, and your doctor can help you prepare for your MVD procedure.
Let’s Get You Prepared: Pre-op Information
The best preparation for microvascular decompression surgery is to find a top-rated NJ neurosurgeon who specializes in facial pain and surgery. Finding the best surgeon for you may require that you meet with a few different doctors.
Your doctor should take the time to answer your questions about your condition. He or she should offer you alternatives to microvascular decompression surgery and should explain the expected benefits and possible risks of the procedure. The right doctor for you should instill a sense of trust in you, and you should feel comfortable with your decision to undergo microvascular decompression surgery.
Once you find the best NJ surgeon for your microvascular decompression surgery, you should feel comfortable with your choice and the facility where your surgeon works. Your doctor’s office should offer you a pre-operative preparation session where you can learn about microvascular decompression surgery and how it will affect your condition.
During your pre-op session, your healthcare practitioner should touch upon various topics that may be of interest to you when considering MVD surgery. These factors may include:
- The hospital staff
- The equipment that will be used during surgery
- The overall procedure
- Resources available to you before, during and after your surgery
- A virtual or actual tour of the hospital where your surgery will be
By arming yourself with information about your microvascular decompression surgery, you can be prepared for the procedure and can comfortably focus on your recovery.
The Recovery Timeline to Expect
Prior to your surgery, you should have an idea of the recovery timeline after microvascular decompression. Your surgery should take place in a top-rated NJ hospital with caring, professional staff members who can ensure your comfortable recovery.
Immediately after your microvascular decompression surgery, you will be transported to the recovery area where you will be monitored by nursing staff. Your doctor will visit you and examine you for signs of facial pain or spasm, and then you will be admitted to the general recovery area. You should expect to spend about two days in the hospital.
When you leave the hospital, you will be sent home to continue your recovery. You will visit your doctor at regular intervals to monitor your surgical incision. They will also make sure that you are healing well and will assess your pain level.
You should gradually return to your normal activity level within a few weeks, but you may need to avoid high-intensity activity, such as heavy lifting, bending or stretching for a month or so. Although most patients experience rapid relief from their symptoms after microvascular decompression surgery, your recovery timeline may differ slightly. Be sure to work closely with your doctor to understand your specific recovery timeline.
Microvascular decompression surgery is considered a definitive treatment for facial spasm and for trigeminal neuralgia. Although it is an invasive surgery, most patients enjoy full relief of symptoms from their facial pain and spasm. By finding the best NJ neurosurgeon in a top-rated facility, you can be sure to have a positive experience and enjoy the best possible outcome from your microvascular decompression surgery.