On October 1, The Valley Hospital’s Anthony D’Ambrosio, M.D., Co-Director of The Gamma Knife Center, presented The Many Faces of Pain, explaining the symptoms, causes, and triggers of trigeminal neuralgia as well as three treatments options.
Dr. D’Ambrosio explained to the audience of nearly 40 people that medication is the first-line treatment, and about 70 percent of people with the condition won’t need surgery. Two other procedures, a percutaneous procedure and Gamma Knife, were also discussed.
The percutaneous procedure burns, crushes, or heats the trigeminal nerve to alleviate symptoms. While it has a 90 percent success rate, patients must be good candidates to undergo it. Older patients, for example, typically are not candidates because of other complications or medications.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a one-time outpatient radiation treatment that uses targeted beams of radiation to target the trigeminal nerve while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed. There’s no age limit and no anesthesia used, but patients must be able to lay flat to undergo the procedure. Valley is proud to offer Gamma Knife treatment in its Gamma Knife Center.