Microvascular decompression (MVD) is a surgical procedure used to treat trigeminal neuralgia. Patients with trigeminal neuralgia can experience extreme but sporadic shock-like pain in the cheeks or jaw that makes it difficult to eat and drink.
During a microvascular decompression procedure, a neurosurgeon will remove the blood vessels that are touching the nerve and insert a pad between the nerve and the arteries. They may also remove veins that are touching the nerve, or remove part of the nerve itself.
The purpose of microvascular decompression is to relieve pressure from a pulsating vessel that is pressing against the trigeminal nerve, causing painful impulses from the face. The procedure is done under general anesthesia.
After surgery, most patients will have rapid relief from pain. Most patients feel tired for about a month afterwards. We recommend that you avoid driving for a month. You may also be required to take a month off of work to recover.
Patients often experience some degree of muffled hearing, facial numbness, and/or weakness of the chewing muscles after surgery, which usually improves over time.