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Dealing with a cranial nerve disorder can de debilitating. Those affected may no longer be able to spend time with friends and family due to constant attacks of facial pain. When medications are no longer working, and your pain has escalated, our neurosurgeons are dedicated to helping you find a facial pain treatment in New Jersey that will leave you pain free.
Under certain circumstances, facial pain treatments, such as gamma knife, are better than surgical procedures. Despite what the name suggests, gamma knife treatment does not require any physical cutting. Instead, gamma knife treatment is a form of stereotactic radiosurgery, which is a form of radiation therapy that hyperfocuses high-power energy on a target area within the body.
The precision of this treatment creates a powerfully concentrated source of radiation that attacks tumors by stopping their growth or shrinking them over time. Therefore, depending on the condition being treated, gamma knife can be a primary treatment or an additive to traditional surgical procedures.
Doctors use this treatment under both circumstances because of the benefits that it may offer you. The primary benefit of gamma knife is the noninvasive component. Because no physical surgery is required, this treatment is often a beneficial outpatient option for those with brain conditions where surgery or whole brain radiation would cause additional trauma to the brain.
Gamma knife may also be used under difficult or inoperable circumstances, such as tumors that live in hard to reach locations or conditions where age and additional illness are likely to cause complications. Additionally, this noninvasive procedure can be performed without general anesthesia, thusly eliminating lengthy hospitals stays and allowing you to return to normal activities much quicker than other facial pain treatment options in New Jersey.
Microvascular decompression (MVD) is often used to treat conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and hemifacial spasm. Although MVD is considered to be the most invasive procedure for these conditions, it was designed to cause no additional nerve damage and also offers a high probability that pain will not reoccur.
The procedure begins with a visit to the hospital or surgical center that your doctor assigns. First, you will be placed under general anesthesia before the surgeon creates an incision near the ear in order to access the mastoid bone. From there, a small opening will be made in the mastoid bone in order to reach the cranial nerves that are causing problems.
The source of the problem typically arises from compression of the nerves (In TN, this will be the trigeminal nerve). Because of this, the surgeon uses a microscope or endoscope to locate the source of the compression, which is normally caused by a vessel, such as an artery. Upon locating the source, the surgeon will alleviate the compression of the nerve by placing a soft cushion between the nerve and the source of the compression.
Once the procedure is completed, the doctors will monitor and test facial activity to ensure a successful surgery. You can expect an average hospital stay of two days and a full recovery within a few short weeks. MVD should allow you to return to a normal, pain free life.
Peripheral nerve stimulator placement is a technique that does not require extensive surgery. Rather, this procedure is a method of treatment that aims to stimulate the facial nerves using electrodes, which are metal wires that produce mild electrical signals.
The procedure begins by the doctor laying you on your back. Then, you will receive a shot of a local anesthetic to numb your face. Once the area is completely numbed, the doctor will then place a small electrode under the skin.
Once under the skin, they will use an X-ray to ensure that the electrode is positioned in a location that will effectively treat your pain. After the location is identified, the doctor will connect the electrode to an external stimulator, which is a small device that will emit tiny electrical pulses to your nerve.
Following the procedure, you will undergo a trial period to see if stimulator placement is the right facial pain treatment for you. This trial typically begins in the recovery room. If the treatment seems successful, you will be released with instructions on how to use the stimulator at home.
Once home, you will monitor how your pain is during the remainder of the trial. If the stimulator can reduce pain enough, you will revisit your doctor. At this time, they will remove the temporary device and implant a permanent connection to the electrode.