In the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (TN), pain management with medication is traditionally the first line of defense. While this approach can reduce the effects of the disorder, some patients may require or request additional treatment due to advanced pain or a desire to avoid side effects of current medication. In these cases, the patient may be a candidate for CyberKnife treatment.
CyberKnife is a non-invasive option for TN. High-dose radiation is accurately delivered by a linear accelerator mounted on a highly maneuverable robotic arm. The procedure is painless and typically performed in one outpatient treatment session. Unlike other stereotactic radiosurgery treatments, CyberKnife does not use a rigid metal frame secured to the patient’s head with screws. Instead, TN patients wear a comfortable mesh face mask. The CyberKnife delivers hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation targeted directly to the trigeminal sensory nerve root, interrupting the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
- Noninvasive, no incisions
- No anesthesia or hospitalization required
- One outpatient treatment session
- Little to no recovery time
- Allows for an immediate return to daily activities
- Minimal, if any, side effects due to pinpoint precision of high-dose radiation delivery
- Minimal radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor
- Used for people who cannot have surgery
- Used when medication is ineffective or side effects intolerable
- Historical standard of care for treatment
- Outcomes generally better than Cyberknife
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