Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) -  Online Support Group

We are patients living with Trigeminal Neuralgia, here for your support.

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MVD's

For members who either have had, are having or considering having an MVD! Somewhere where those having had MVD's can share their experiences with those who are considering getting this done.

Location: subject-specific group
Members: 329
Latest Activity: 13 hours ago

Overview

Microvascular Decompression (MVD) is a surgical procedure that relieves abnormal compression of a cranial nerve. It is performed to treat trigeminal neuralgia, vagoglossopharyngeal neuralgia, and hemifacial spasm. These conditions are often caused by an artery or vein compressing the nerve root as it leaves the brainstem. When compressed, normal nerve impulses can recruit nearby nerve fibers and send faulty messages. Medications often provide relief to patients with these conditions, but when medications become ineffective or cause serious side effects, one treatment option is MVD.
What is MVD?

MVD is a surgical procedure to relieve the symptoms (pain, muscle twitching) caused by compression of a nerve by an artery or vein. MVD involves surgically opening the skull (craniotomy) and exposing the nerve at the base of the brainstem to insert a tiny sponge between the compressing vessel and the nerve. This sponge isolates the nerve from the pulsating effect and pressure of the blood vessel.

Trigeminal neuralgia is an irritation of the fifth cranial nerve causing severe pain that usually affects one side of the face, normally in the forehead, cheek, jaw, or teeth (Fig. 1). To treat trigeminal neuralgia, a sponge is placed between the trigeminal nerve and the superior cerebellar artery or a branch of the petrosal vein. By removing the compression, the painful symptoms are relieved.
Who is a candidate for MVD?

You may be a candidate for MVD if you have:

* trigeminal neuralgia that is not well controlled with medication and you desire minimal to no facial numbness that may be associated with other treatments such as percutaneous stereotactic radiofrequency rhizotomy (PSR) or glycerol injection
* facial pain isolated in the ophthalmic division or in all three trigeminal divisions
* facial pain recurrence after a previous percutaneous or radiosurgery procedure

Because MVD involves the use of general anesthesia and brain surgery, patients with other medical conditions or who are in poor health may not be candidates. MVD is not successful in treating facial pain caused by multiple sclerosis. Because of the low risk of hearing loss, MVD may not be suitable for patients who have hearing loss in the other ear.

 

MVD Surgical Risks:

 - Surgical Wound Infection with Lasting Pain, including menengitis.

 - Cerebral Spinal Fluid Leaks

 - Anesthesia Dolorosa -- burning pain underlying facial tactile numbness

- Parasthesia -- an itchy, crawly sensation combined with surface numbness

 - Facial Numbness -- loss of sensation without other sensory effects

 - Partial Facial Paralysis

 · Loss of Hearing (rare, and only with MVD)

 · Loss of the Tearing Reflex of the Eye, with a Risk of Ulceration to the Cornea (also MVD)

 · Surgical Adhesions and Arachnoiditis

 · Central Nervous System Fluid Leak (rare, and only with MVD)

 · Differentiation Pain (caused by surgical interruption of connections between peripheral nerve endings and the central nervous system).

Imagery of MVD:

The following YouTube link provides an unusually clear and well explained description of what is done in a complex MVD for Geniculate Neuralgia and face pain.  Though graphic in detail, it offers one of the better descriptions for what actually occurs in MVD, and how small a place this area near the brain stem actually is, to work. [R.A.L.]

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7fUqg2aEkc

Discussion Forum

First Neurosurgeon appointment expectations

Started by Erica. Last reply by teacher58 13 hours ago. 7 Replies

I'm a 32 year old sufferer for 2 years headed to Neurosurgeon next week. What will the first consultation be like? I see people have had the MVD and gamma and I'm unsure which one and would be best,…Continue

Panic that it is returning:/

Started by Nelliemay14. Last reply by Kelly Gorman on Saturday. 10 Replies

New to group....MVD surgery 6 months ago...mostly good days 3 months after surgery...no more meds at the moment...but past 2-3 days horrific pain back of head and upper neck...no drainage..1 pain med…Continue

Can anyone give advice on the best sleeping position post mvd

Started by angie r. Last reply by Edster on Friday. 12 Replies

I am preparing for my mvd surgery hopefully in August I am just waiting on the actual date. To ensure a good night's sleep when I get home post operatively what is the best solution? Is it better to…Continue

What our hair looks like post MVD

Started by ihold. Last reply by Bels Aug 6. 29 Replies

I know this is the silly and vain side of us that comes out when thinking about MVD. Hey, I thought about it. Even though I was worried about what was going to happen when they did brain surgery, I…Continue

Comment Wall

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Comment by kathiegil on August 13, 2014 at 7:04pm
I came up to johns Hopkins and had the mvd yesterday. I am feeling surprising well and will be discharged tomorrow . We stay up here for 2 weeks to get stitches out then fly back home to fla.
Comment by angie r on August 13, 2014 at 9:22am

I had my MVD on 6th August and the operation went well, an artery and 2 veins were touching my nerve, the surgeon Mr Quigley in RVH in Belfast, wrapped the nerve in Teflon. I got home from hospital on 11th August.  Post operative care was excellent with no major problems except having to deal with side effects of reducing my Lyrics which is making me very lightheaded, dizzy and unsteady. My TN  pain was masked by my medication or I was in remission so I need to wait until my medications are reduced to see if the operation was successful. I am just taking lots of rest and I need assistance to move about. All your tips are helping thanks everyone.

Comment by Bonnie on August 11, 2014 at 8:49pm

Tiffanie, was your MVD successful after your 3 yr wait? 

Comment by Bonnie on August 11, 2014 at 8:42pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone!  Everything moves slower in Canada.  I had a tentitive diagosis at the end of March and it took 6 wks to see a Neurogist to confirm. Two months later I ws able to see a local neurosurgeon who has a wait list of 1 - 1 1/2 yrs. Then back to my neurogist to get a referral to another surgeon, Dr Honey, from UBC in Vancouver.  I believe Dr. Honey is the surgeon I will use based on their website, but they are closed the month of August so I haven't been able to get a date for my initial appt yet. The surgical wait list for Vancouver will probably be longer. I expect a 2-3 year wait between the initial diagnosis and the actual surgery,  I'm not in any pain now with the Tegretol so I wasn't minding the wait, except for my nervousness in just thinking about this. I did read Striking Back, by the way, between Dr visits.

Comment by tiffanie on August 11, 2014 at 8:07pm
I was told by my local Neuro and 3 other Neuros I consulted with, that I should take meds as long as I can handle it. And use MVD as a last resort. That is so outdated! The longer the nerve is compressed, the more damage is being done.
I ended up waiting 3 years, for a total of 5 from first symptoms. I wish that I would have gone in right away!
Comment by KATTHOMPSON4 on August 11, 2014 at 6:54pm
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Comment by mybell on August 11, 2014 at 6:39pm

I was diagnosed 4 days after my initial symptoms of TN1 and had my MVD by Dr. Casey 9 months later. I'm now 10 months out from surgery and pain free and med free. I made the decision to have an MVD 3 months after my diagnosis but then spend several months finding the right surgeon. I booked my MVD last July and then waited a few months to get my ducks in order and had the surgery last October. Best decision for me!

Comment by Mace on August 11, 2014 at 5:52pm

Bonnie i would not wait if your going that route. from my first dr visit to surgery was about 8 months, that was taking the earliest appointments for every visit to specialists. 

Comment by Anna on August 11, 2014 at 5:51pm
I've had 3 MVD's and gamma knife. The last 2 MVD's were in June and neurolysysis was performed on the 3rd one. It seems to be almost completely successful :) I'm off one of my meds and cut back significantly on tegretol. I'm so excited!!
Comment by John on August 11, 2014 at 12:48pm

Thanks  to both of you  Red and Albee,  i am not a fan of the gamma knife  procedure due to the destructive nature, and pushed for the MVD, when my Doctors were steering me to the gamma, due to a prior health issue I had with a prior back surgery.    I am concerned my MVD is failing, and having to increase the Meds is making it difficult to do my job.   Feel I am running out of options.

John.  .

 
 
 

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