Yeungnam Univ J Med.  2021 Jul;38(3):202-207. 10.12701/yujm.2020.00745.

Personal experience with microvascular decompression and partial sensory rhizotomy for trigeminal neuralgia

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea


Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a severe, paroxysmal pain in the distribution of the fifth cranial nerve. Microvascular decompression (MVD) is the most widely used surgical treatment for TN. We undertook this study to analyze the effects of and complications of MVD and to refine the surgical procedure for treating TN.
A total of 88 patients underwent for TN underwent surgery at our hospital. Among them, 77 patients underwent MVD alone, and 11 underwent partial sensory rhizotomy (PSR) with or without MVD. The medical records of these patients were retrospectively analyzed for patient characteristics, clinical results, offending vessels, and complications if any.
The mean follow-up duration was 43.2 months (range, 3–216 months). The most common site of pain was V2+V3 territory (n=27), followed by V2 (n=25) and V3 (n=23). The most common offending vessels were the superior cerebellar artery and anterior inferior cerebellar artery in that order. The overall rate of postoperative complications was 46.1%; however, most complications were transient. There were two cases of permanent partial hearing disturbance. In the MVD alone group, the cure rate was 67.5%, and the improvement rate was 26.0%. Among 11 patients who underwent PSR with or without MVD, the cure rate was 50.0%, and the improvement rate was 30.0%.
The clinical results of MVD were satisfactory. Although the outcomes of PSR were not as favorable as those of pure MVD in this study, PSR can be considered in cases where there is no significant vascular compressive lesion or uncertainty of the causative vessel at the surgery.


Microvascular decompression surgery; Rhizotomy; Treatment outcome; Trigeminal neuralgia
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