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Stanford offers the full range of the latest, leading-edge minimally-invasive procedures, some of which are only provided here in Northern California, while others are available at few hospitals nationwide. Surgical treatments fall into two categories: decompressive and destructive procedures.
Decompressive procedures are used to remove the compressing blood vessel from the trigeminal nerve. This surgery is effective in more than 85 percent of patients at relieving pain.
Microvascular decompression: A microscopic technique is used to view and move the blood vessel or artery that is causing the compression through a hole in the skull.
Destructive procedures use heat, chemicals or radiation to produce mild damage to the nerve, decreasing or stopping the nerve impulses that cause pain. These procedures are effective in 80 to 90 percent of patients, although pain recurrence is more common.
Percutaneous radiofrequency rhizotomy: This procedure damages the nerve using radiofrequency to disrupt the pain signals transmitted by the nerve.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.