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Shooting Jaw Pain Causes Sleepless Nights: Trigeminal Neuralgia Surgery

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When Cira Samuels’ severe shooting trigeminal neuralgia pains kept her awake and destroyed her quality of life, her neurologist provided medication. As the medication stopped working and zapped her vitality, she found relief with Michael Brisman, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board certified neurosurgeon with extensive experience treating trigeminal neuralgia. Cira Samuels’ ordeal began with flashing lights. “I thought a car was coming towards me, but… it was nothing,” Cira said. The flashing lights led her to an eye doctor who found nothing wrong. Then, the jaw pain started. “I slept sitting up. I was drooling. It was horrible,” Cira said. She saw a dentist, who also found nothing. Cira’s recurring pains shot through her head and face. She saw a neurologist, who put her on anti-seizure medication for five years. Eventually, she needed more and more medication. “I was zombified. I couldn’t drive. My quality of living was down. I couldn’t eat…anything hot or cold. I couldn’t have anything touch my face,” she said. She found Dr. Brisman through an Internet search for neurosurgeons, and he was able to get her into the hospital quickly. For the estimated 1 in 15,000 people with trigeminal neuralgia, episodes of intense facial pain occur hundreds of times a day, lasting several seconds or longer. Trigeminal neuralgia treatment relieves pain in the lips, nose, eyes, forehead, scalp, and/or jaw. Dr. Brisman and his colleagues at NSPC have successfully treated thousands of trigeminal neuralgia patients. Dr. Brisman has written many articles and book chapters about neurosurgery, and he specializes in brain tumors and trigeminal neuralgia treatment. “When I first woke up, no pain,” Cira said. Expressing gratitude to Dr. Brisman and his staff, she said that the level of care was “beyond the best. On a one to ten, goes way over ten. You’re in the best of care; you’re treated tenderly.” After surgery, her facial pain was gone, her anti-seizure drugs were gone, and she was able to use her face normally again.