Stereotactic Radiosurgery is a single radiation treatment usually done as an outpatient procedure. It is not surgery, no cutting is done so surgical risks and the effects of anesthesia are not factors which makes this procedure attractive – especially to those who are older or who have complicated health conditions. It is the least invasive trigeminal neuralgia surgical treatment available.
The Gamma Knife and linear accelerators are the most commonly Radiosurgery equipment. Linear accelerators (LINAC) are manufactured by different companies and given different names such as CyberKnife® and X-knife
Unlike percutaneous procedures where most patients experience immediate pain relief, Radiosurgery patients usually don’t receive pain relief until one to three months after the procedure and sometimes it can take up to six months to know whether or not the radiation treatment was successful. When patients can not wait upwards of six weeks to see if they will get pain relief from a Radiosurgery procedure, usually different surgical treatments are preferred.
As a result of the Radiosurgery radiation treatment, trigeminal neuralgia patients usually get some facial numbness and some have even gotten a painful numbness called anesthesia dolorosa.
When reviewing Radiosurgery success rates in published articles, see how the author(s) defined success. Some authors clearly define success as “pain-free, TN medication free” and other authors do not define it.
New frontiers in radiosurgery for the brain and body
Radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia: is sensory disturbance
required for pain relief?
Stereotactic radiosurgery for primary trigeminal neuralgia: state of the evidence and recommendations for future reports
International RadioSurgery Association (IRSA)