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Trigeminal Neuralgia, Hemifacial Spasm

The neurosurgeons at Boston Medical Center have extensive experience with the surgical management of nerve disorders of the head and face such as trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm. One possible cause of both of these conditions is a blood vessel coming in contact with a nerve (the sensory and motor nerve), causing pressure. The trigeminal nerve is affected in trigeminal neuralgia, resulting in pain in the face. The facial nerve is affected in hemifacial spasm, resulting in uncontrollable movement of the facial muscles. Our multidisciplinary team of experts will work with you and your family to determine the most appropriate therapeutic path for your unique situation. We understand the often excruciating nature of these conditions, and our highest priorities are your comfort and recovery.

We offer a variety of treatment options, some of which are minimally invasive and some of which involve craniotomy, or open incision. Minimally invasive therapies are often preferred, as they reduce pain, complication and infection rates, and hospital stay. One such alternative is rhizotomy, a needle-based ablative technique that destroys the parts of the trigeminal nerve that causes trigeminal neuralgia. In addition, trigeminal neuralgia may also be treated with Cyberknife®, a new technology that sends powerful radiation beams to faulty nerves or tumors while minimizing injury to surrounding tissue.

If traditional open surgery is deemed most appropriate for your condition, we perform a small operation through the skull. This directly reduces the pressure on the trigeminal and facial nerves and can result in long-term pain relief. If a blood vessel is compressing a nerve, the vessel is removed. Our exceptional staff is available to you before, during, and after treatment, in order to help you through the recovery process.

Dr. James Holsapple specializes in trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm.