Trigeminal neuralgia or “tic douloureux” causes recurrent or chronic pain in the face, causing symptoms that can be severe and debilitating. At Acadiana Neurosurgery in Lafayette, Louisiana, Drs. Alan Appley and Jason Cormier use state-of-the-art approaches to treat patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia so they can achieve long-term relief from symptoms.
Trigeminal neuralgia (sometimes called tic douloureux) is a condition that causes persistent pain in a specific region of the face. It occurs when one or more branches of the trigeminal nerves (the nerves in the face) become irritated or inflamed. The trigeminal nerves are located on each side of the face and feature three branches:
Trigeminal neuralgia can affect any of these branches. In most cases, pain and other symptoms occur on only one side of the face, but in bilateral trigeminal neuralgia, both sides of the face can be affected.
The most common symptom of trigeminal neuralgia is pain which can be quite severe and can occur suddenly. Pain can last for several minutes and can recur at any time, often being triggered by simple activities like brushing the teeth, shaving, face washing or putting on makeup. A gentle touch or even a light breeze can trigger painful sensations. Attacks can happen several times each day and typically are followed by a period (called remission) when no pain occurs. While sudden, severe pain is most common in people with trigeminal neuralgia, atypical neuralgia can cause intense but continual aching and burning sensations. Many patients with trigeminal neuralgia are affected by chronic anxiety as a result of their ongoing pain.
Treatment typically consists first of medication to relieve nerve irritation or relax the facial muscles, along with a special kind of antidepressant to help relieve pain. When medication is not effective in providing relief, surgery can be performed to remove the nerve or destroy specific areas of the nerve that are causing painful symptoms. Surgery can be performed using traditional techniques or radiosurgery techniques that rely on radiation and do not use incisions. The approach used will depend on the part of the nerve that’s affected, the cause of nerve irritation and as other factors.
At Acadiana Neurosurgery, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed. We will be happy to submit a claim for our services to these plans as well as Medicare, with which we are a participating provider. Please remember that insurance is only a method of reimbursing the patient for fees paid to the doctor – it is not a substitute for payment. Some insurance companies pay fixed allowances for certain procedures and others pay a percentage of the charge. It is your responsibility to pay any deductible, co-insurance or any balance not paid by your insurance company. We do accept Visa, American Express and MasterCard for your convenience.
"Dr. Cormier is excellent in all facets of his practice!"
'Brilliant..... Removed a brain tumor from my 19yr old daughter few yes ago. She is doing great. Also 2 fusions on me I would recommend Dr. Cormier to anyone!!"
"Dr. Cormier, the quality of your surgical care truly makes it a healing ministry."
"I never met a doctor with such love for his work who listens to his patients and really cares about their issues. You deal with people with great patience."