Florence’s Story: Minimally Invasive Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia
"During my time at Valley, the staff took great care of me, and the nurses explained step-by-step what was going to happen. I have never felt so comfortable."
After being initially treated four years prior for her trigeminal neuralgia with medication, Port Jervis native Florence Santini made an appointment with Anthony D’Ambrosio, MD, in 2019 to treat her continued excruciating pain.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a facial pain syndrome that starts near the top of the ear and travels toward the eye, cheek, and jaw.
The 69-year-old remembers the moment she realized she needed to seek additional help. “After weaning off my medications, the pain was back. I was having a conversation with my niece one day, and with every other word, I would just start screaming. I couldn’t talk. The pain was unbelievable,” she said.
Florence began searching for a doctor and came across Dr. D’Ambrosio, the Subspeciality Director of Neurosurgery and Co-Director of The Valley Hospital Gamma Knife Center. She made the decision that she would be willing to travel to receive treatment at Valley.
Dr. D’Ambrosio performed the minimally invasive Gamma Knife procedure to treat Florence’s trigeminal neuralgia. The Gamma Knife procedure is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses multiple focused beams of high-dose gamma radiation to target a specific area without touching the surrounding brain.
“During my time at Valley, the staff took great care of me, and the nurses explained step-by-step what was going to happen. I have never felt so comfortable,” said Florence. “There was no recovery at all, and I was able to go home after the procedure.”
Florence said she has not experienced any pain since the Gamma Knife procedure.
“The staff at the Gamma Knife Center do not just go through the motions with their patients. They really care about you and what they are doing. Not long after the procedure, the nurses would call me and see how I was doing. I can’t even begin to explain how that made me feel,” Florence said. “I know that if I called Dr. D’Ambrosio tomorrow, he would take care of me.”