Research Article

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation of Gasserian ganglion and its rootlets for trigeminal neuralgia.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 15 January 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:142
  1. R P Sengupta,
  2. R J Stunden


    Thirty-nine patients with trigeminal neuralgia, not controlled by medical treatment, were treated by radio-frequency thermocoagulation of the Gasserian ganglion and its posterior rootlets. Thirty-six received satisfactory pain relief. In 30 patients touch sensation in the treated territory was preserved. The corneal reflex was affected in only six patients, two of whom subsequently developed keratitis. There were no other complications apart from a minor unpleasant sensation in eight patients. By selectively destroying pain fibres this technique offers the scope of preserving touch sensation in the treated area. Moreover, the zone of analgesia can be restricted to the affected region by sensory mapping through electrode stimulation before thermocoagulation. Its simplicity, low morbidity, associated short hospital stay, and the increased ability to preserve touch sensation, especially of the cornea, seem to make it preferable to other forms of surgical management for trigeminal neuralgia.