Trigeminal neuralgia patients used to have limited choices when it came to managing their pain. However, thanks to the dedication of hardworking doctors and researchers, the medical community has come to understand the cause of most cases of trigeminal neuralgia. That allows them to develop treatment options that can end your facial pain.
Wherever you are in the diagnosis and treatment process, learning as much as you can about your condition will help you feel confident along the way. The following will give you a brief overview of what causes trigeminal neuralgia, treatment options available and a highlight of some of the doctors who specialize in trigeminal neuralgia near you in northern NJ.
Let’s have a conversation about your trigeminal neuralgia.
What Causes Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia patients suffer from intense facial pain brought on by the face’s normal activities, such as light touch and eating. Patients experience extreme bouts of pain because the nerve responsible for sensory innervation of the face (the trigeminal nerve) sends signals inappropriately. Doctors have learned that the primary reason for this hyperactivity is something pressing on the trigeminal nerve, often a blood vessel and rarely another structure, such as a tumor.
What Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatments are Available in NJ?
For anyone diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, the first line of treatment is typically prescription medication to stop your painful attacks. Common prescriptions include anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and muscle relaxers. However, many patients will require direct treatment to provide long-term relief.
Microvascular decompression (MVD) and Gamma Knife radiosurgery are treatment options available to tri-state area patients. Both effectively treat your trigeminal neuralgia and prevent pain by removing the impingement on the trigeminal nerve. However, the two treatments are very different, and your doctor will recommend what is most appropriate for you based on your specific condition and personal health factors.
MVD is a surgical procedure administered within a hospital, requiring a short hospital stay and a recovery period at home of about a week. During your MVD procedure, the surgeon will access the impingement area and place a piece of Teflon between the blood vessel and nerve, which will stop the irritation and prevent future bouts of pain. Doctors who specialize in trigeminal neuralgia may recommend MVD in younger patients who are good surgical candidates.
By contrast, Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a minimally invasive, outpatient radiation treatment. There is no incision, no surgery, and no hospital stay. Using multiple highly focused beams of radiation, your doctor can target just the impinging structure without damaging healthy surrounding tissues, removing the cause of your trigeminal neuralgia. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is an excellent treatment option for patients who are not good surgical candidates or who prefer a minimally invasive treatment approach.
Who Are the Doctors Who Specialize in Trigeminal Near Me?
Next, meet some doctors who specialize in trigeminal neuralgia in northern NJ, each of whom works hard to end facial pain for patients. Each of the following doctors has dedicated themselves to treating patients with brain, head, and neck conditions and specializes in trigeminal neuralgia near you.
Anthony D’Ambrosio, MD, FAANS
Dr. D’Ambrosio is the Director of Neurosurgery at The Valley Hospital and is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He specializes in MVD and Gamma Knife radiosurgery for treating neurological conditions like trigeminal neuralgia. Dr. D’Ambrosio is driven by advancing patient care, stating:
“I was partially responsible for creating the Valley Gamma Knife Program as it didn’t exist when I started at Valley…One of the reasons I love working at Valley is the fact that the administration listens to ideas and cares about their patients so much that they invest in the most revolutionary technology whenever appropriate.”
Chad DeYoung, MD
A radiation oncologist, Dr. DeYoung specializes in treating trigeminal neuralgia using Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Dr. DeYoung personally feels driven by the synergy between patient care and technology. His passion is clear as he says:
“Valley Hospital is one of those incredibly rare hospital systems that have exceptional care and technology, as well as a personal touch. The state-of-the-art machines and techniques used at Valley are making real differences to real patients now. That means that I get to practice medicine utilizing world-class technology in an environment where my patients get caring, personalized attention to ensure that they can live their most fulfilling lives.”
Michael Wesson, MD
Dr. Wesson also specializes in treating trigeminal neuralgia using Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Driven by patient progress, the doctor says of his work:
“I am energized by the opportunity to develop close relationships with each and every person I treat both during their time with us as well as their ongoing follow-up visits. The recent advancements in technology are amazing and allow for fewer treatment sessions with even fewer side effects. ”
Thomas Kole, MD, PhD
As another radiation oncologist, Dr. Kole finds himself driven by supporting his community. He also specializes in using Gamma Knife radiosurgery to manage trigeminal neuralgia and says:
“I am excited by the progression of radiation technology to allow for more precise treatment delivery which has made shorter overall treatment courses possible along with improved quality of life…I take pride that every day I have the opportunity to provide hope to my patients and possibly make someone smile that otherwise might not have.”
Treatment for Your Trigeminal Neuralgia
As you can see, there are caring, experienced doctors near you who specialize in treating trigeminal neuralgia using the most advanced technology available. As a trigeminal neuralgia patient, you no longer have to settle for avoiding certain activities and hoping the pain doesn’t return. There are trigeminal neuralgia doctors dedicated to treating people just like you, greatly reducing or ending your facial pain once and for all.