Video About Face Pain Why Doctors Often Misdiagnose and the Treatment and Surgery for Trigeminal NeuralgiaHow bad could facial pain be? Why do doctors sometimes miss the diagnosis of facial pain? How do you treat trigeminal neuralgia?
Apparently in the case of trigeminal neuralgia the pain can be so intense that even heavy narcotics may not quell it.
Trigeminal Neuralgia is a a face pain caused by an irritation of a nerve in the face called the trigeminal nerve. As you hear in these videos about trigeminal , people (including doctors and dentists) may think that the source of facial pain is the teeth, when it is actually caused by trigeminal neuralgia. It is a (not so) rare condition "that causes pain so intense it used to be known as the suicide disease. And people who get it usually have vivid memories of their first severe episode". Sandra McGee was in the shower when she felt something like an electric shock on the right side of her face and you can listen to the story of her surgery for trigeminal neuralgia. Watch this video about trigeminal neuralgia from NPR...In her story, a doctor told McGee that surgery was her best hope for permanent relief.
"The surgery still carries risks. But it's become steadily safer and more effective over the years.One major reason is new technologies that create detailed, three-dimensional images of a patient's brain. Those images make it easy for surgeons to plan an operation".
"A video of that surgery shows him creating a hole in her skull behind the ear, and gently teasing apart layers of tissue as he works his way toward the brain stem. Within a few minutes he's exposed the problem. A pulsing red blood vessel is wedged beneath the nerve and has actually worn a visible groove in the white fiber sheath".
History is the most important factor in the diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia. Tests like an MRI may help diagnosis. Pain can be brief but it may occur in volleys of multiple attacks. Pain is stabbing or shock like and is typically severe. The pain is on one side of the face. Touch or vibration can trigger an attack.