Treating Trigeminal Neuralgia with CyberKnife

CyberKnife® for Trigeminal Neuralgia has been shown to be effective with many patients reporting relief shortly after completing treatment. CyberKnife delivers precisely targeted radiation to the trigeminal nerve root in one convenient and painless treatment. As a result, the change in the tissue interrupts transmission of pain signals to the brain.

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a rare but excruciatingly painful disorder that affects about one in 15,000 people. TN patients suffer episodes of stabbing, electric shock-like pain in the eyes, lips, nose, scalp, forehead and jaw. The pain originates from the trigeminal (fifth cranial) nerve responsible for providing sensation to the face. The most common cause is thought to be compression of the nerve root by a blood vessel. The pain can be triggered when cold air touches specific facial areas or with movements like chewing, talking, smiling or swallowing. Because pain is often first experienced along the jaw, TN is frequently mistaken as a dental problem. TN is more common in women, and patients are typically middle-aged or seniors. The unpredictable, severe pain from TN is emotionally incapacitating and may significantly impact quality of life.

Advantages of CyberKnife

  • Enables clinicians to maximize and conform the dose to the targeted nerve while limiting radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue
  • Outpatient procedure, little or no recovery time and minimal side effects
  • Requires no anesthesia
  • Allows for an immediate return to normal activities
  • TN pain relief reported in some cases immediately following treatment.

Arica Hirsch, M.D.

Dr. Hirsch is the Medical Director and primarily practices at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. She is board-certified in Radiation Oncology. After completing medical school at Northwestern University and residency at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as chief resident, Dr. Hirsch was an Assistant Professor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where she practiced for 4 years. In 2001, Dr. Hirsch went into private practice with Radiation Oncology Consultants.

Arica Hirsch, M.D.

Dr. Hirsch is the Medical Director and primarily practices at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. She is board-certified in Radiation Oncology. After completing medical school at Northwestern University and residency at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as chief resident, Dr. Hirsch was an Assistant Professor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where she practiced for 4 years. In 2001, Dr. Hirsch went into private practice with Radiation Oncology Consultants.

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Carl’s Story

Carl is someone who is all too familiar with the severe pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia. The 64-year-old Illinois resident was diagnosed with TN in 2015. Papp’s journey with TN started over three years ago when facial pain caused him to visit a neurologist. His dentist took x-rays and determined that the pain was not caused by anything dental and suggested that he visit a neurologist. Thanks to CyberKnife Carl was able to drop his pain level was down in just a few days.

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