Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Stereotactic Radiosurgery is an attractive therapy for treating lesions of the brain in surgically dangerous locations. The risk of complications is low and treatment is quick, often done on an outpatient basis. Stereotactic Radiosurgery is the delivery of a focused radiation dose to a specific target (the lesion) while avoiding significant radiation exposure to surrounding structures.

Often intracranial tumors, including primary brain tumors and metastatic tumors to the brain, can be treated with this technology. This is the most common type of lesion treated with Stereotactic Radiosurgery, although abnormalities of blood vessels, such as arteriovenous malformations, can frequently be treated with this technology as well. Trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain) which is not responsive to medical therapy is another condition that is often treated with this therapy.

Treatment is typically on an outpatient basis. After arriving at the hospital in the morning, you will be given local anesthesia while the neurosurgeon places a stereotactic head frame on you. Next, you receive a CT scan to confirm the location of the brain lesion. You return to your hospital room while a treatment plan is prepared by a team of physicians—a neurosurgeon, a radiation oncologist, and a radiation physicist. Together, they review the clinical information and decide on the radiation therapy. Treatment is then given, using a specially modified linear accelerator. The procedure will take approximately 30 minutes. After the treatment is completed, the head frame is removed, and following a short period of recovery, you are able to return home.

The Tallahassee Neurological Clinic, Department of Neurosurgery, in conjunction with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and the Department of Radiation Oncology, will provide these treatments.


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