Microvascular decompression has almost immediate pain relief with high success rates of approximately 73%-80% of people experiencing pain-free periods up to 5 years.1 The potential risks of this procedure are meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, hearing loss, brain swelling/bleeding, and facial numbness/paralysis among others.
The success rates of gamma knife surgery for TN include an estimated 52%-69% of people experiencing pain-free lives from up to 3 years.1 The pain relief from this procedure may be delayed by at least a month in most cases. Common side effects include paresthesia, sensory loss, and/or facial numbness.
Percutaneous procedures for TN are injections administered by piercing the skin of the cheek to reach the trigeminal ganglion or gasserian ganglion, where the three branches of the trigeminal nerve come together. These procedures are usually performed under fluoroscopy (x-ray guidance). Pain relief from these procedures are seen in 90% of people immediately following treatment, however, a long-term follow up by 5 years may vary. Sensory loss and/or numbness in the face are among the possible side effects of these procedures.