Microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery is considered as an effective method with which to treat trigeminal neuralgia (TN). However, sometimes MVD surgery fails due to incomplete decompression of the responsible vessels caused by a poor visual field. In this study, we evaluated the benefits of endoscopic visualization and the value of full endoscopic vascular decompression (EVD) by describing the surgical results of 20 patients with TN after EVD.
This was a retrospective study in a single institution of 20 patients with TN who received EVD between April 2018 and October 2019. All patients underwent EVD via the suboccipital retrosigmoid approach without microscopy at any stage. Abnormal muscle response (AMR) and brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) were routinely monitored throughout the procedure. Follow-up was conducted by outpatient and telephone interviews. The degree of facial pain was graded using the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain intensity score; a BNI of 1 was considered as the best result while a BNI of 2 or 3 was considered as a satisfactory result. Follow-up time ranged from 8 to 24 months, with a mean of 18±4.36 months.
All 20 patients with severe preoperative pain (BNI of 5) achieved immediate relief or complete control of pain after surgery (BNI of 1 to 2). Vascular conflicts were observed during surgery in all of the patients. None of the patients experienced hearing loss, facial paralysis, intracranial infection, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, cerebral hemorrhage, or death, following the operation.