Understanding Your Treatment Options for Trigeminal Neuralgia

About 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia each year. If you’re newly diagnosed with this complex neurological condition, it’s important that you know your options for treatment as early as possible.

As a highly skilled neurosurgeon, Christopher Duma, MD, FACS, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

Dr. Duma uses the latest therapeutic technologies, including Gamma Knife®, to treat the root cause of your symptoms without invasive surgery.

Why you have trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which provides sensations from your face to your brain.

When the trigeminal nerve is irritated, inflamed, or compressed, it can cause excruciating pain anywhere along the path of the nerve. Pain is triggered by touching your face or brushing your teeth or hair. Even a slight breeze blowing across your skin can trigger severe nerve pain.

Pressure on the nerve often stems from nearby blood vessels or soft tissues. You might also be at increased risk for trigeminal neuralgia if you have neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis or suffer nerve damage from diabetes or an injury. Aging can also play a role in trigeminal neuralgia.

Recognizing warning signs of trigeminal neuralgia

The hallmark symptom of trigeminal neuralgia is sudden, excruciating facial pain. You might also experience electric shock sensations in your gums, cheeks, jaw, and lips with minor movements.

Pain episodes can last for a few seconds to several minutes. You might also experience recurrent symptoms for several weeks or months on one side or both sides of your face.

Unfortunately, the pain of trigeminal neuralgia gets worse without treatment and can ultimately disrupt your quality of life and your physical, mental, and emotional wellness.

Exploring your trigeminal neuralgia treatment options

The goal of trigeminal neuralgia treatment is to address the source of nerve irritation. Dr. Duma offers several options that can provide fast and lasting relief of pain, so you can live a physically active and full life.

We provide trigeminal neuralgia treatments like:

Gamma Knife radiosurgery

Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses advanced technology that delivers beams of gamma radiation into tumors or other abnormal growths on the trigeminal nerve.

Dr. Duma is an expert in Gamma Knife technology and performs the procedure with a high level of accuracy to prevent damage to surrounding tissues.

Microvascular decompression

Microvascular decompression is a minimally invasive surgery to remove blood vessels that press on the trigeminal nerve.

This treatment only requires small incisions at the back of your skull to access and remove the targeted vessels.  Dr. Duma can also place padding around the nerve to prevent additional trigeminal neuralgia symptoms.

The most suitable treatment for you depends on your age, health history, and the cause of your symptoms. Dr. Duma reviews all your options for treatment with you, so you can make the most informed decisions about your health.

Call the office of Christopher Duma, MD, FACS, in Newport Beach, California, today to schedule a diagnostic evaluation for trigeminal neuralgia symptoms, or book an appointment online. 

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