There is a website if you are interested in getting into detail.
Gamma Knife® surgery is recognized worldwide as the preferred treatment for brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations and brain dysfunctions such as trigeminal neuralgia. the Gamma Knife® allows noninvasive cerebral surgery to be performed in one session and with extreme precision. Based on preoperative radiological examinations, such as CT scans, MR scans and angiography, the unit provides highly accurate irradiation of deep-seated targets, using a multitude of collimated beams of ionizing radiation with scalpel-like precision. The "blades" of the Gamma Knife® are the beams of gamma radiation programmed to target the lesion (in my case, the nerve and blood vessel) at the point where they intersect. In a single treatment session, 201 beams of gamma radiation focus precisely on the lesion.
That is probably more than you all wanted to know. I've had TN pains for about 14 years, before Brennan was born. Only in the last 5 or so years has it gotten much worse. I've been managing the pain lately with medication, so it's been good.
I went in for pre-op at *yawn * 5:30 am on Thurs. My veins were not very cooperative for giving blood or getting an IV started. When we went to the Gamma knife (also called cyberknife) area, we waited for the Dr's, one neurosurgeon, and the other deals with radiation. The anesthesiologist sedated me completely while I was sitting up, and then they put the frame on my head, yes, screwed into my skull. (yes, glad I was put out!!)
Don't I look really happy? Two points on the front, and two points on the back. Then I went for an MRI. When I came back from MRI, the point on my back left side was really starting to hurt, I felt the pressure. So Dr Ashman came and gave me three SHOTS!!! YOWWWEEE!!! in the back of my head.. OH>MY>LANTA! That was the worst part of the whole day!
We waited in the waiting room for an hour or so while the docs mapped out where they were going to aim/focus the gamma rays on my nerve. It was a quiet procedure - I actually fell asleep during the 39 minute procedure.
When I came out, they immediately unscrewed the frame- that was wierd... Then, you know how your lip feels after being numbed at the dentist? My whole top and back of my head was numb!! I was touching my head, but my head couldn't feel it! I came home with two tiny circle bandaids on my forehead. That's all the evidence. I've had evidence, I think, that it has worked. I go back to see the Doc in weeks, and should be able to start decreasing my medication. That is what it is all about now!
So.. i'm good... no after effects! It was outpatient, and other than the few sore spots where the screws were, I'm good. Thanks for being concerned, my great friends!!