A microvascular decompression is a surgical procedure that relieves pain caused by abnormal compression of the trigeminal nerve. A patient may experience pain (usually located at the cheek, forehead, teeth, or jaw) or even facial drooping. This condition, known as trigeminal neuralgia, occurs most often when the trigeminal nerve is being compressed (or pinched) by a nearby artery. The first treatment of choice are medications. If these are ineffective then surgery may be considered.
The surgical procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an opening in the skull (called a craniotomy). He will then identify the nerve and place a tiny pad between the trigeminal nerve and the artery. Patients often notice improvement upon awakening from anesthesia. You can expect to spend one to two days in the hospital. Your surgeon will ask that you refrain from strenuous activities for about 4 weeks.
Spinal Decompression Surgeons
If you have questions about microvascular decompression surgery, contact Midwest Spine & Brain Institute at 1.800.353.7720.