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MicroVascular Decompressions

Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI)

Neurological Surgery & Neurointerventional Surgeons located in Pomona, CA & Arcadia, CA

Conditions like trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia can cause extreme pain in your face or throat due to compression of the cranial nerves. The experienced neurosurgeons at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) in Pomona and Arcadia, California, have specialist expertise in performing microvascular decompressions to relieve nerve pressure and alleviate your pain. If you're affected by severe nerve pain, inquire about microvascular decompression surgery by calling Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) today or request a consultation online.

MicroVascular Decompressions Q & A

What are microvascular decompressions?

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Microvascular decompressions are surgeries that relieve abnormal compression of the cranial nerve in your skull, at the base of your brainstem.

During a microvascular decompression, your surgeon at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) makes an incision behind your ear and accesses the cranial nerve by drilling an opening in your skull.

When they can see the nerve, your surgeon places a tiny Teflon™ pad between it and the artery, causing the compression. The pad separates the nerve and blood vessel, relieving pressure.

Why might I need microvascular decompression?

Microvascular decompressions might be necessary to treat conditions like:

Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is an extreme, shock-like pain often accompanied by muscle spasms in your face. Even the gentlest touch could be painful, and everyday tasks like brushing your teeth can be excruciating.

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia is a severe pain affecting your ear, tongue, and back of your throat. The pain is similar to trigeminal neuralgia but triggered by swallowing.

Hemifacial spasms

Hemifacial spasms are uncontrollable, abnormal contractions or twitches of your facial muscles. The spasms usually affect one side of your face.

In most cases, patients can keep their symptoms in check using medications. However, if drugs aren't controlling your condition adequately and you're healthy enough to undergo surgery, microvascular decompression offers a possible solution.

Why should I consider microvascular decompression?

Microvascular decompressions are as effective as Gamma Knife® stereotactic radiosurgery and techniques like percutaneous lesioning in reducing symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, and hemifacial spasms. The primary advantage of microvascular decompressions is the greater long-term control of symptoms.

The microvascular decompression experts at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) help you decide on the most suitable treatment by considering the severity of your symptoms and factors like your age, general health, and any past surgeries.

How long does it take to recover after microvascular decompression?

You need to spend a night in the hospital after your microvascular decompression surgery. You'll be under observation to ensure all is well, and your surgeon checks to make sure your symptoms are under control. When you're ready, you can gradually increase your activity levels to promote healing.

Your surgeon gives you instructions on caring for the wound, and you should avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for a few days at least. They also monitor your postsurgical healing to assess how well your microvascular decompression treatment is working and ensure you don't get side effects like swelling, pain, or facial numbness.

Microvascular decompressions have a high success rate for treating trigeminal neuralgia and similar conditions and preventing your symptoms from returning. If you want to know whether you're a good candidate for microvascular decompression surgery, call Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) today or request an appointment online.