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Triumph over Pain: The Resolution of Trigeminal and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

Here is the story of a 45-year-old woman who suffered for years from excruciating trigeminal neuralgia and glossopharyngeal neuralgia. The nerves at the base of her skull were compressed by arteries near the brainstem, causing intense pain during speaking, swallowing, eating, grooming, and social interactions, akin to being struck by lightning or slashed with a knife in the face, teeth, or jaw. Despite trying the most potent nerve pain medications like Lyrica and Tegretol, their effectiveness waned over time, and they brought on severe side effects like drowsiness and dizziness.

Even after multiple brain MRIs, no clear cause of her pain was identified. With the prospect of high-risk surgery, her dedicated neurologist advised against it due to the potential for facial paralysis. Nevertheless, the woman decided to undergo the surgery in hopes of a definitive cure.

She underwent a 4.5-hour microsurgical procedure that successfully separated the compressed trigeminal and glossopharyngeal nerves from the artery, using Telfon Felts and glue for stabilization. Post-surgery, each patient's first sensation upon waking was the absence of the once unbearable pain.

The day after her surgery, the woman was able to return home, beginning a new chapter of life free from agony. This narrative serves as a beacon of hope for those enduring chronic pain, reminding them that sometimes surgery might be the best resolution to their plight.

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