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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 34-37

Successful combination therapy with radiofrequency ablation and phenol injection in a young patient with refractory trigeminal neuralgia

Department of Surgery, Hawler Medical College, Erbil, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Othman Ismat Abdulmajeed
Department of Surgery, Hawler Medical College, Erbil
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jrap.jrap_9_20

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Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is defined as sudden, usually unilateral, severe, brief, stabbing, and recurrent pain in the distribution of one or more branches of the fifth cranial nerve. The pain is generally abrupt, severe, and can pose a significant impact on the quality of life. The etiology of TN is not always clear, and therefore, treatment can be challenging and multimodal. Pharmacotherapy is generally the first-line treatment though unsuccessful in over a third of patients requiring minimally invasive modality. We report the case of a young patient with refractory and debilitating TN with failed four sessions of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in addition to the regular use of oral medications. Our treatment included simultaneous RFA and phenol injection with complete symptomatic resolution within fortnight after intervention. In conclusion, the treatment of TN poses a clinical challenge. Although RFA or phenol injections are recognized invasive treatment modalities, we have proven that simultaneous use of both therapies at the same time is safe and effective treatment option for refractory TN with failed previous multi-modal therapy.

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