Posts Tagged ‘Trigeminal Neuralgia’

From the mailbag…

September 29, 2009

A patient writes:

I am Cynthia Smith and was recently a patient at Mayo. I have written the following story to share…

Thanks to Dr. Link, and the entire Mayo staff, I am now pain free from 7 years of excruciating tongue and facial pain. I suffered from glossopharyngeal neuralgia (severe tongue pain) and trigeminal neuralgia (TN), the “suicide disease”. I had all the usual triggers which caused pain: swallowing, chewing, moving my tongue, cold or hot temperatures, etc. Because eating was so difficult, I was losing weight and strength while basically living on yogurt and a liquid diet.

I had been diagnosed early on and had tried every possible medication, with little or no relief. In desperation, we traveled to the Mayo Clinic and went to the emergency room at St. Marys Hospital. It took a couple days before I made it into the “Mayo machine,” an efficient, smooth moving motion of tests, MRIs, and consultations. On Sept. 4th, Dr. Link and his team performed a craniotomy where they snipped the 9th cranial nerve to correct the glossopharyngeal neuralgia and then did a decompression vascular procedure by putting Teflon pad into between the vessels and nerves to correct the “TN”. Both procedures were completely successful! With the help of my faith, family, and friends, I’m now enjoying the pleasures of daily life again.

Thanks to Cynthia for sharing her Mayo Clinic story. If you would like to share yours, click here for options.

Finding Answers at Mayo Clinic

September 15, 2009

After seeing numerous medical professionals in her hometown for a stabbing pain in her face, Amy Abts was referred to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. At Mayo Clinic, Amy saw a neurologist who diagnosed her with Trigeminal Neuralgia, a rare condition named for the three-part (trigeminal) nerve. It is this nerve that delivers sensations to the face.

To get the pain under control, her neurologist tried a couple different medications. When the medications did not work, her neurologist and a neurosurgeon determined the best option was a surgical procedure called a Microvascular Decompression. The surgical procedure consisted of separating the nerve and blood vessels and inserting a Teflon plate between them to alleviate the pressure.

In the following video, Amy talks about her visit to Mayo Clinic and her diagnosis and successful treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

To learn more about Trigeminal Neuralgia, visit: