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Trigeminal neuralgia

If you experience severe facial pain you may have trigeminal neuralgia — our HCA UK neurosurgeons can diagnose and treat you

About

Trigeminal neuralgia is a severe and sudden type of facial pain. It's believed to be caused by an artery or vein compressing your trigeminal nerve (the nerve that gives feeling to the face). These attacks can lead to anxiety as well as actual pain. To help this, we offer a range of treatment options to improve your condition.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of Trigeminal neuralgia icon plus

    The main symptom of trigeminal neuralgia is a severe, sharp-shooting pain in your jaw, teeth and gums. In some cases, the pain may also be felt in the forehead or eye. These attacks can be very intense and occur regularly. Actions or movement that can trigger these symptoms include:

    - talking
    - smiling/laughing
    - chewing/swallowing
    - brushing your teeth
    - touching your face
    - washing your face

     
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    The severe pain you may feel from trigeminal neuralgia will help your consultant make a diagnosis. From their discussion with you, they will then likely undertake an MRI scan, to give a clear image of the trigeminal nerves. An MRI scan can help your consultant to identify any abnormality around the nerve, particularly the proximity of an artery or the presence of a benign tumour in contact with the nerve.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    • Anticonvulsant medication to block the pain transmission in the nerve.
    • Percutaneous procedures (injections into the nerve through the cheek). 
    • Stereotactic radiosurgery under local anaesthetic (Gamma Knife). Radiation beams target the nerve and damage the trigeminal nerve pain fibres.
    • Microvascular decompression surgery under general anaesthetic. This is an operation to move an artery away from the trigeminal nerve. Although we are not certain that vascular compression causes neuralgia, the operation has a high chance of relieving pain long-term.

Consultant with patient

Our consultants

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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