Radiosurgery is a medical procedure that uses radiation to treat the pain of trigeminal neuralgia. This is a disorder that causes severe, stabbing pain in the face. It can be caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve, which provides sensation to your face and controls muscle movement. The cause of this compression is not always known, but it is thought to be related to blood vessels or tumors pressing on the nerve.
The procedure involves delivering high-energy radiation from an external source directly to the site where the trigeminal nerve meets the brainstem. This delivers enough energy to destroy any tumor or blood vessel that may be causing compression without damaging nearby tissue. The goal is to relieve pain without affecting other functions such as vision or speech.
It’s important to note that radiosurgery is an outpatient procedure and does not require general anesthesia; however, you will need someone at home who can drive you home after the treatment.