CyberKnife Center of Chicago now offers stereotactic radiosurgery for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, a debilitating nerve disorder characterized by excruciating facial pain.
The center has treated more than 60 patients suffering from the acute pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia, or TN.
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Though primarily used to treat benign and malignant tumors, CyberKnife Center of Chicago treats TN patients with a procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery using CyberKnife® technology. The treatment is a noninvasive alternative to powerful painkilling drugs or other antidepressant or anticonvulsive medication patients often take to ease their pain.
The disorder can occur when a blood vessel compresses the fifth cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve. Many times, no cause can be found. For these patients, simple, everyday activities such as chewing, talking or swallowing can be difficult. As the pain intensifies, patients find themselves unable to predict what may trigger the next episode.
TN usually causes sharp pain in the jaw, which can often be mistaken for a dental problem. Patients may undergo root canals or tooth extractions in an attempt to relieve their pain. Only when the discomfort persists do many patients seek additional medical advice or treatment.
"Stereotactic radiosurgery can be an excellent treatment for TN patients seeking freedom from pain medications or a nonsurgical option to alleviate their pain," Dr. Andy Su, medical director of CyberKnife Center of Chicago said. "The CyberKnife delivers highly-focused radiation beams to the trigeminal nerve to interrupt pain-causing fibers."
The pinpoint accuracy of the procedure spares healthy tissue and does not require surgery or sedation. Stereotactic radiosurgery for TN is typically a one-time, outpatient procedure and is completed within an hour. Though TN does not have a cure, pain can be reduced or eliminated in about 85 to 90 percent of patients who are treated with stereotactic radiosurgery, according to clinical data.
In addition to trigeminal neuralgia, CyberKnife Center of Chicago treats cancerous and noncancerous tumors in many parts of the body, including the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas, kidney and bone. The center is also capable of treating recurrent tumors that may have been treated previously with conventional radiation therapy.
To find out if you or a loved one may be a candidate for trigeminal neuralgia treatment with CyberKnife, request more information.
CyberKnife Center of Chicago is a service of Elmhurst Memorial Hospital and is located at 200 Berteau Ave. in Elmhurst, Ill. For more information, call (331) 221-2050 or visit www.chicagock.com.