Most sufferers with trigeminal neuralgia have heard of the surgical treatment, Microvascular Decompression (MVD for short), but fewer know about percutaneous balloon compression.
I can speak from first-hand experience of both procedures, and of the success with the latter. That is, I remain pain and medication free after five and a half years since a simple and fast balloon compression procedure crushed my trigeminal nerve. But I have always wondered and worried that the pain may return. To date I am extremely happy with the situation as are others I know who have undertaken this procedure.
The article ‘Factors that may affect recurrence of trigeminal neuralgia after percutaneous balloon compression’, was researched and written by Wenming Lv, Wenjing Hu, Lingyi Chi, and Liangwen Zhang and published in Journal of Clinical Neuroscience Volume 99, May 2022, Pages 248-252, can be read here
If you are considering asking for a Balloon Compression procedure, be aware there are risks and side-effects and that your research should be thorough. You need to trust that your neurosurgeon has considerable experience with this procedure, and has informed you of all aspects.
One of the possible side-effects about which I was warned, was that I might have some or a lot of facial numbness on the affected side of my face. I did have numbness on half an eyelid, half my nose and half the top of my upper lip. In the above article the finding was that numbness, on average, disappeared around three years. That is about right for me, although on rare occasions in the past couple of years I have a sense of it in my upper lip and nose. I am delighted to report that the numbness never caused my face to slump or change and has never been visible, it has always been mild, and it has never inconvenienced me. Having said this, each person is different and the results for another could be dramatically different – so please gather all information from a knowledgeable professional if considering this. For me, losing the pain and reliance on medication was worth some numbness. I was fortunate to be able to reclaim my life.