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Austin CyberKnife in the News: Treating Trigeminal Neuralgia

When former trigeminal neuralgia (TN) patient, Gloria R. came to Austin CyberKnife, she had already sought the help of numerous health care professionals for a diagnosis of her extreme facial pain.

Also known as the “suicide disease,” TN can occur when a blood vessel compresses the trigeminal nerve, the largest nerve in the head, causing erratic episodes of unbearable, intense electroshock-like pain in the face. The unpredictable pain can be triggered by simple actions such as chewing or talking.

Some TN cases may be misdiagnosed as a dental problem. Gloria actually underwent several invasive procedures in an attempt to relieve her pain before receiving the correct diagnosis.

“Dentists could not locate the source of my pain, despite root canals and pulled teeth,” she said. “I was sent to a periodontist, who thought I needed to see a neurologist and at last I had an answer, trigeminal neuralgia.”

Austin CyberKnife successfully treated Gloria’s recurring pain with CyberKnife®, an advanced radiosurgery system primarily used to treat benign and malignant tumors in various parts of the body. To treat TN, the CyberKnife precisely focuses and delivers high-dose radiation to a segment of the trigeminal nerve to interrupt pain-causing fibers. The pinpoint accuracy of CyberKnife spares healthy tissue, and some patients may experience a reduction in pain immediately following treatment. Stereotactic radiosurgery for TN is typically a one-time, outpatient procedure completed within an hour.

To hear more about Gloria’s treatment from her treating physician Dr. Stephen Brown, read our story at DOTMed News.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.