Percutaneous microcompression of the trigeminal ganglion for trigeminal neuralgia

Sean Mullan Section of Neurological Surgery, The University of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, Illinois

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 M.D.
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Terry Lichtor Section of Neurological Surgery, The University of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, Illinois

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 M.D., Ph.D.
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✓ Fifty patients were treated for trigeminal neuralgia by percutaneous microcompression of the trigeminal ganglion. A No. 4 Fogarty balloon catheter was inserted under brief general anesthesia, using biplane fluoroscopy. This procedure is essentially a percutaneous simplication of the older Taarnhøj-Sheldon-Pudenz operation. The follow-up period ranged from 0.5 to 4.5 years. Pain recurred in 12% of cases during that time, and it is anticipated that within 5 years the recurrence rate will reach 20%, which is approximately the same rate as for the alternative established procedures. The advantages of this technique are freedom from discomfort on the part of the patient, a remarkable ease of performance on the part of the operator, absence of associated mortality, and a minimal morbidity rate.

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