If you’ve ever had a severe toothache, you may know similar pain. Well kind of. Now imagine living your life with that shooting, stabbing pain every day, all day.
Jeff, who was also a CyberKnife Miami patient and suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, also knows the pain all too well.
“The pain is excruciating, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. I had no relief, not for a moment. I couldn’t eat, sleep, drink, touch my face or let my children touch my face,” he says.
Trigeminal neuralgia is sometimes called the suicide disease because the pain can be so bad that patients can fall into a deep state of depression and contemplate suicide or even take their own lives.
“The constant pain caused me to lose everything. My six-figure job, my wife, my children, my home. I couldn’t’ work. I had no physical or mental strength. I went to many doctors, and they all told me there was nothing they could do except give me medication. They had me on so many drugs and pain killers that I was zoned out. I was told there’s no solution, there are no treatments available, just keep taking the drugs.”
Luckily, medications, including anti-convulsants and anti-depressants, are not the only answer. Nor are injections or surgical procedures like microvascular decompression or a rhizotomy, which damages the nerve fibers to block the pain, but can lead to other sensory loss or numbness.
In fact, these options can often have other unwanted side effects and the success rates can vary from patient to patient.
CyberKnife for Trigeminal Neuralgia
However, there is one treatment option for patients that isn’t as well-known, yet its success rate is high. And that’s treatment with CyberKnife, a form of stereotactic radiosurgery. CyberKnife works by delivering pinpointed, extremely accurate, high-dose beams of radiation to the nerve to desensitize it.
Unlike the Gamma Knife, another radiation treatment for trigeminal neuralgia, CyberKnife treatments are pain free and do not require anesthesia or an invasive metal frame screwed into the patient’s skull. Plus, CyberKnife treatments are done on an outpatient basis. In fact, the treatment was recently endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the United Kingdom.
“CyberKnife radiosurgery enables our team to achieve pain control in almost 95% of patients within 2-to-4 weeks and long-term healing in 75% of trigeminal neuralgia cases, enabling most patients to resume activities of importance to them. In our 15 years long-term experience, we have established precise treatment parameters that allow us to limit the risk of complications to a very low level and to date, no major issues have been reported,” says Alfredo Conti, associate professor of neurosurgery at Alma Mater Bologna University in Bologna, Italy.
“Patients suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia should always consider alternative options to surgery,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, medical director of CyberKnife Miami and board-certified radiation oncologist. “After trying medication, ask your doctor, is there a non-invasive treatment available? Typically, patients need only one CyberKnife treatment. If the pain returns, a second treatment may be considered but we’ve been very successful with just one treatment.”
After doing her own research and finding CyberKnife Miami for trigeminal neuralgia, Deborah opted to try it.
“The treatment took 45-minutes. Afterwards I felt a little queasy, had a slight headache, but by the next day, it was like a miracle. I was talking and feeling good. I had a couple of pain episodes but by the second week it was completely gone,” she says.
Treatment with CyberKnife can take time to work for patients, but for Jeff relief came fast.
“Eight minutes into the treatment, I had them stop because I no longer felt pain. I thought something was wrong because I didn’t know what that felt like anymore,” says Jeff. “When I first heard about CyberKnife I was a little skeptical because it sounded too easy but when I got up from that table, I was crying, I was so happy. It’s a miracle. My heart wants to explode with joy. People used to say, you don’t smile, but boy do I smile now.”
CyberKnife Center Miami
“I’m surprised at how long many of these patients have suffered before they are referred to a CyberKnife center for treatment. That’s why it’s so very important that we get this information out about CyberKnife as a non-invasive treatment option for trigeminal neuralgia,” says Dr. Pomper.
For some patients, one treatment can eliminate the pain forever. However, if the pain does return, patients can be treated again with CyberKnife. Deborah is thankful she tried CyberKnife, and she says she now has her life back.
“I’m extremely fortunate. I don’t take small things in life for granted anymore,” says Deborah. I understand why it’s called the suicide disease and that’s why we tell everyone we can about CyberKnife.”
CyberKnife Miami is the only free standing CyberKnife center in South Florida. Any patient can go directly there for treatments or consultations, and any doctor can send patients to CyberKnife Miami as well. Patients come from all over the world to be treated for nerve disorders, plus cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
If you would like to find out more about treatment with CyberKnife call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our website now for more information www.cyberknifemiami.com.