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Percutaneous Procedures for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Facial pain can be caused by many different disorders. It is essential that an accurate assessment of the pain be obtained before any treatment is initiated. The first step is a detailed history that includes a description of the onset, nature, location, and character of the pain and factors that either elicit or relieve the pain. On the basis of this information, it may be necessary to perform a computed tomographic or magnetic resonance imaging examination or to select laboratory studies to exclude neoplastic, infectious, or vascular causes of the pain. After this evaluation has been completed, neuralgic or non-neuralgic facial pain can be diagnosed in most patients. Neuralgic facial pain is commonly classified as classic trigeminal neuralgia, trigeminal neuropathy, or atypical trigeminal neuralgia. Classic trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by intermittent, shock-like facial pains that can be exacerbated by various triggers. Patients with classic trigeminal neuralgia are pain-fr...