Enquiries
 
  Home   Practice   Staff   Anatomy & Causes   Technology   Treatment Options   Glossary   Resources  
 
Medical
Analgestic
Anti-inflammatory
Anti-depressant
Anti-convulsant
Anti-biotic
Steroids
Surgical
Cervical
Low Back
Cranial
Peripheral Nerves
Interventional Radiology
Aneurysm Treatment
Spinal Injections
Therapy
Chiropractic
Exercise
Hydrotherapy
Massage
Osteopathy
Physiotherapy
Rehabilitation
 

Craniotomy  |  Cerebral Aneurysm  |  Recovery  |  VP Shunt  |  Reconstruction

Pituitary Surgery  |  AVMs  |  Chiari Surgery  | Microvascular Decompression

 

Microvascular Decompression Surgery

Vascular compression of the trigeminal nerve in the cerebellopontine angle is now generally accepted as the primary source or “trigger” causing Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN). Microvascular Decompression (MVD) is a neurosurgical procedure used to treat TN. The compression is usually either caused by the superior cerebellar artery or the anterior inferior cerebellar artery.

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, through an incision and small thumbprint sized bony opening behind the ear (craniotomy). The surgeon peers into the opening through an operative microscope, looks around the cerebellum (a structure of the brain) and visualizes the trigeminal nerve as it arises from the brain stem (the trigeminal nerve root entry zone).

MVD approach

The aim of MVD surgery is to alleviate neurovascular compression upon the trigeminal nerve root. This permits the trigeminal nerve nucleus to recover from its state of hyperactivity and return to a normal, pain free condition. Micro-instruments are used to mobilise the offending vessels away from the trigeminal nerve root. The decompression is permanently maintained by inert implants, such as those made of shredded Teflon felt, between the offending vessels and nerve.

MVD 1

Prior to MVD: an artery compresses the trigeminal nerve.

MVD 2

During MVD, the vessel is mobilised away from the nerve root entry zone.

MVD 3

The decompression is maintained with Teflon implants.

MVD 4

MVD results in permanent alleviation of the neurovascular compression.

MVD is a non-destructive technique, and has the best potential for long-term relief or cure of TN pain. However, there is a small risk of complications related to cranial nerve damage including hearing loss and facial numbness. Intra-Operative Monitoring has improved the safety of this procedure. Other risks include the rare incidence of post-operative infection, inflammation or healing difficulty leading to CSF leak. The risk of developing some facial numbness is very small, and the development of deafferentation pain or anesthesia dolorosa is almost unheard of. Other serious complications related to stroke, bleeding, or swelling are exceptionally rare at centres with special expertise in performing MVD surgery.

Back to Top