Neurosurgical Review

, 32:87 | Cite as

Microvascular decompression as a surgical management for trigeminal neuralgia: long-term follow-up and review of the literature

  • Serdar Kabatas
  • Aykut Karasu
  • Erdinc Civelek
  • Akin P. Sabanci
  • Kemal T. Hepgul
  • Yang D. Teng
Original Article


This retrospective study summarizes our experience based on treating 62 patients with trigeminal neuralgia treated with microvascular decompression. All patients had typical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms, with 24 of them (38%) having failed to benefit from other previous treatment paradigms. We excluded subjects with atypical and/or secondary forms of trigeminal neuralgia. Follow-up duration ranged from 5 months to 10 years 6 months, with recurrence being identified in three patients (4.8%).We found that the superior cerebellar artery is the leading offending vessel in our cases (33.9%; 21 patients). Interestingly, seven patients (11.3%) underwent an early reoperation 12–48 h later after the first operation was deemed ineffective. This subgroup recovered satisfactorily following isolation of the pathogenic vessels. Overall, no mortality was observed in our patients, and the only permanent morbidity outcome was a case of facial nerve palsy (1.6%). We conclude that microvascular decompression and its reapplicaiton for patients who showed no pain relief immediately after the first decompression are safe and effective treatments for trigeminal neuralgia.


Microvascular decompression Trigeminal neuralgia Long-term follow-up Early reoperation 



We thank Dou Yu, MD, PhD (the Spinal Cord Injury & Neural Stem Cell Biology Laboratory, BWH/HMS) and S. Baki Albayrak, MD (Department of Neurosurgery, BWH/HMS) for their suggestions, and Ahmet Can Celtikci, MA (Department of Sustainable International Development, Brandeis University) for his generous help with preparation of tables and figures.


The authors have no financial interest in the subject presented in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Serdar Kabatas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aykut Karasu
    • 1
  • Erdinc Civelek
    • 1
    • 3
  • Akin P. Sabanci
    • 1
  • Kemal T. Hepgul
    • 1
  • Yang D. Teng
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Istanbul School of MedicineIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Lab of SCI&NSC, Department of NeurosurgeryHarvard Medical School/the Brigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgerySerife Baci Devlet HastanesiKastamonuTurkey

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