Jose E. Valerio, M.D.
Neurosurgeon & Brain Tumor Specialist located in South Miami, FL & Hialeah, FL, & Weston, FL
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects your face. You may find everyday activities like brushing your teeth or washing your face too painful to endure. At his practice in South Miami, Hialeah, and Weston, Florida, Jose Valerio, MD, offers surgical treatments for trigeminal neuralgia to help you get relief from your pain. Call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online today.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Q & A
What is trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects your trigeminal nerve, which is the primary sensory nerve in your face. The condition most often develops from compression of the nerve by an artery or vein.
With trigeminal neuralgia, you may experience jolting pain even from lightly touching your face. Initially, your pain may be short and mild. However, over time the pain sensations worsen and become more frequent.
The good news is, there are many effective treatments for trigeminal neuralgia, including neurosurgery.
What are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia?
With trigeminal neuralgia, many patients first experience pain in the upper or lower jaw. Over time, the pain may travel to other parts of the face or head, including the eyes, lips, nose, forehead, or scalp.
The pain sensations may include:
- Electric shock-like jolts
The pain condition tends to run in cycles, and you may experience painful sensations that last for days, weeks, or months and then go into a period of remission. However, over time the pain becomes more intense and frequent with fewer pain-free periods.
What are the treatments for trigeminal neuralgia?
Treatment for trigeminal neuralgia depends on the severity of your symptoms. Initially, Dr. Valerio takes a conservative approach and prescribes medication to alleviate your pain.
If medications fail to provide adequate pain relief, then the team may recommend surgical intervention.
What are the surgical treatments for trigeminal neuralgia?
Surgical treatments for trigeminal neuralgia include microvascular surgery, gamma knife radiosurgery, and stereotactic balloon compression of the trigeminal ganglia.
During microvascular surgery, Dr. Valerio removes the skull — craniotomy — at the site of your trigeminal nerve and gently moves the blood vessel compressing the nerve.
Gamma knife radiosurgery
Gamma knife radiosurgery is a type of radiation treatment. Instead of incisions, Dr. Valerio eases your symptoms by using heat to destroy the part of the nerve causing your pain.
Stereotactic balloon compression of the trigeminal ganglia
Stereotactic balloon compression of the trigeminal ganglia is a minimally invasive treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. During the procedure, Dr. Valeria inserts a catheter through a blood vessel to the site of the trigeminal ganglia — the portion of the nerve that transmits pain signals.
Once at the right spot, Dr. Valerio inflates a balloon at the tip of the catheter, compressing the nerve to stop the pain.
Don’t let your trigeminal neuralgia keep you from doing the things you enjoy. Call the office of Jose Valerio MD or schedule a consultation online today.