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In 1934, Walter Dandy theorized that trigeminal neuralgia is caused by a blood vessel compressing the trigeminal nerve. In order to treat this, a hole about the size of a half dollar or so is cut into the skull, and the dura mater is moved aside. The offending blood vessels are moved off of the trigeminal nerve and a piece of teflon is placed between the vessel and the nerve.
This operation, also known as the Jannetta Procedure, is now one among many for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia as well as other cranial nerve neuropathies.
It is no longer the first line of defense for these terribly painful disorders because of its high risk component, including facial paralysis, called by Dr. Jannetta a "major and common complication."
It is still in use, despite the debates ongoing about the cause(s) of these disorders. When it works the patient may have temporary or even permanent relief of their often debilitating pain.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Microvascular_decompression". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|