Trigeminal Neuralgia in New York, NY

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What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia, or tic douloureux or TN, results from pressure on the fifth cranial nerve, leading to recurrent episodes of facial pain. This pressure can stem from various factors, such as a blood vessel, tumor, or arteriovenous malformation. Over time, this pressure damages the nerve's protective myelin sheath, leading to its malfunction. Individuals suffering from trigeminal neuralgia might experience pain attacks even from minimal facial contact, such as shaving, eating, speaking, or even smiling. At the office of Dr. Raymond Sekula in New York, NY, several treatments for trigeminal neuralgia are available. These include microvascular decompression surgery, ablative procedures designed to intentionally harm the trigeminal nerve, and neuromodulatory procedures that utilize advanced technology to modify brain and nerve activity, thereby addressing facial pain. For more insights into trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis and treatment, reach out to Dr. Sekula at his office in The Neurological Institute of New York.

What are the Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Patients with trigeminal neuralgia often experience intense shooting or stabbing pain in the face. This pain can be triggered by even minor facial movements and may prevent individuals from performing day-to-day activities in New York, NY. Other symptoms include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the face
  • Spasms of the facial muscles
  • Episodes of severe pain that may last a few seconds or minutes
  • Pain that is limited to one side of the face

If you experience any of these signs, it is crucial to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Sekula can help alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life.

What Increases Your Risk of Developing Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Some risk factors may increase your likelihood of developing trigeminal neuralgia in New York, NY, including:

  • Age: The condition is more common in individuals over 50 years of age.
  • Genetics: Some studies suggest a genetic predisposition to trigeminal neuralgia, but more research is needed to confirm this link.
  • Medical history: Individuals with a history of high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis may be at a higher risk of developing trigeminal neuralgia.
  • Injury to the face: Trauma to the face or head area may lead to compression or damage of the trigeminal nerve.

What Are the Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia?

The primary cause of trigeminal neuralgia is believed to be compression or irritation of the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for transmitting sensations from the face to the brain. This compression can result from various factors, including blood vessels pressing on the nerve, multiple sclerosis causing damage to the protective covering of the nerve, or, in rare cases, tumors compressing the nerve. Although the exact cause may vary from person to person, the hallmark of trigeminal neuralgia is intense, stabbing pain in the face, often described as electric shock-like sensations. Management typically involves medications to alleviate pain and, in some cases, surgical procedures to relieve pressure on the trigeminal nerve.

How Is Trigeminal Neuralgia Diagnosed?

Trigeminal neuralgia, a condition characterized by recurrent episodes of facial pain, is diagnosed through a meticulous process. The diagnosis primarily involves:

  • Patient history analysis
  • Neurological examination
  • High-resolution MRI scans

This comprehensive diagnostic approach ensures that the underlying causes of trigeminal neuralgia are accurately identified, paving the way for effective treatment options, ranging from medication to advanced surgical procedures. Dr. Sekula's expertise in this field offers hope and relief to those suffering from this debilitating condition.

How Does Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment Work?

Our collaboration with a top-tier neuroradiology team aids in diagnosing trigeminal neurology using high-resolution MRI scans. These scans detect issues, like blood vessels or tumors pressing against the trigeminal nerve. After diagnosis, Dr. Sekula plans the appropriate treatment. We offer innovative drug trials for those not preferring surgery. For others, we provide surgical treatments, like microvascular decompression surgery, ablative procedures, and neuromodulatory techniques. Dr. Sekula may recommend microvascular decompression surgery, glycerol rhizotomy, Gamma-Knife Radiosurgery, open partial sensory rhizolysis, or steroid rhizotomy to treat your trigeminal neuralgia.

Dr Sekula is an incredible doctor. A one in a million neurosurgeon. His knowledge and understanding of trigeminal neuralgia is above and beyond. He did microvascular decompression on me and I have never been happier. He and his staff are very caring and kind. The speed of their responses are amazing. I am so grateful to have found him. There's no one else I'd recommend. He is top-notch.

K.T. Healthgrades

After having suffered with trigeminal neuralgia for a number of years, getting worse each time it returned, I am so grateful that I have found this practice. Dr. Sekula and his team are both expert and compassionate. I reccomend them most highly. I know now that there are a number options for treating this disease.

M.M. Google

I suffered from Trigeminal Neuralgia 8 years ago. Prior to diagnosis my dentist thought it was because I needed a root canal. 1 Root canal and tooth extraction later, it seemed to have gone, but then returned. I begin to see a neurologist and I was then treated with drugs. It seemed to mitigate, but I would get intense flare ups periodically. Life relocated us to Pittsburgh, where upon I did some research on the UPMC website. I was quickly pointed to Dr. Sekula and an appointment was made. Dr. Sekula met with me and quickly and recommended the vascular decompression. I was quickly set for surgery. The result was immediate. No flareups, or anything in the last 5 years. This was life changing surgery for me. Dr. Sekula has subsequently moved on to Columbia University and wish him the best. You could not be in better hands for this condition.

M.M. Google

Dr. Sekula performed MVD on my mother who has been suffering ftom trigeminal neuralgia for several years now. Quick surgery and a recovery with no complications. Knowledgable and passionate doctor.

K.C. Google

I suffer from trigeminal neuralgia since 2012. I seen many surgeons, some in New York and CT which truly never gave me a straight forward answer about my condition. Unfortunately, I did not tolerated meds for it and I suffer w it for many years. Last year it aggravated to a point that life stop making sense. While searching for a surgeon I read a story of a young man on his page w a similar story of feeling no way out but Dr. Sekula change his life. I can say the same, the surgery he did took away the trigeminal pain. I am in disbelief of how I don’t have any pain whatsoever. Dr. Sekula changed my life. my family as myself have so much gratitude. I highly recommend Dr. Sekula to anyone who is suffering from trigeminal neuralgia. Now I can enjoy life to the fullest w the people I love.

E.C. Google


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Explore Advanced Trigeminal Solutions

Discover the leading-edge solutions for trigeminal neurology we offer at Dr. Raymond Sekula's office in The Neurological Institute of New York in New York, NY. Don't let chronic pain dictate your life; our comprehensive treatment plans, ranging from innovative drug trials to advanced surgical interventions, are tailored to your unique needs. Join countless others who've found relief through our expertise. Reach out today, and take the first step toward pain relief.

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What causes trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia typically occurs spontaneously, but can also be linked to facial trauma or dental procedures. The most common cause is a blood vessel pressing against the trigeminal nerve (vascular compression), which wears away the nerve's protective insulation, leading to extreme sensitivity.

How is trigeminal neuralgia diagnosed?

Diagnosis involves a physical exam and detailed medical history to exclude other facial pain causes. There's no single test for it, so understanding the pain's nature is crucial. Imaging tests like CAT scans or MRIs may be recommended to check for tumors or blood vessel abnormalities potentially causing the pain.

What treatments are available for trigeminal neuralgia?

Treatment options include medications (often seizure-controlling drugs like carbamazepine or gabapentin), trigeminal nerve blocks (steroid or other injections to reduce pain), and various surgical procedures. Over-the-counter painkillers are generally ineffective. The choice of treatment depends on the patient's overall health, pain severity, and tolerance for potential side effects.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.