Gamma knife radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia: The Washington University initial experience

Robert E. Drzymala, Robert S. Malyapa, Joshua L. Dowling, Keith M. Rich, Joseph R. Simpson, David B. Mansur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Seventy-three patients were evaluated for the changes in pain relief, numbness and paresthesias after Gamma Knife radiosurgery to a maximum dose of 76-87 Gy for trigeminal neuralgia. Patients experienced pain relief as follows: 59% attained complete pain relief without prior surgery (33% with prior surgery); 25% achieved ≥ 50% pain reduction (28% with prior surgery); 11% of surgery patients obtained minor pain relief, and 16% of patients without surgery had no relief (28% with prior surgery). Level of pain decreased rapidly within 6 weeks after radiosurgery. Numbness/paresthesias developed slowly over the first 12-15 months. Bothersome levels were experienced by 15% of the patients without prior surgery (22% with prior surgery). Comparison of the occurrence of numbness/paresthesias, with respect to prior surgery, was not statistically significant. Only 2% of all patients had persistently bothersome side effects. In conclusion, radiosurgery is an effective treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, especially for those patients not having prior surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-152
Number of pages5
JournalStereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Gamma Knife
  • Radiosurgery
  • Trigeminal neuralgia


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