Friday, February 19, 2010

Gamma Knife for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is a method for treating certain problems in the brain without making an incision. Two hundred-one beams of cobalt-60 radiation are focused precisely on a specific region in the brain. In the case of TN, the target area is the trigeminal nerve, just where it leaves the brain. The treatment does not require general anesthesia, and the patient stays in the hospital for less than five hours.

Any patient with trigeminal neuralgia who has pain or has difficulty with the medicines used to relieve the pain is an excellent candidate for GKRS. The patient's age or medical condition does not affect the decision to have GKRS. Even the elderly or medically infirm can undergo this treatment. Patients who are receiving anticoagulants for other medical conditions do not have to stop or reverse the anticoagulation therapy prior to GKRS. Those who have had previous procedures for TN may also undergo GKRS. Patients who are concerned about the possibility of numbness are particularly good candidates for GKRS, because the chance of postoperative numbness occurring is very small. Patients who poorly tolerate medicines given for sedation and relief of pain during a procedure are also very suitable for GKRS because these medications are not necessary.

Gamma Knife for Trigeminal Neuralgia

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