Microvascular Transposition without Teflon: A Single Institution's 17-Year Experience Treating Trigeminal Neuralgia

Andrew R. Pines, Richard J. Butterfield, Evelyn L. Turcotte, Jose O. Garcia, Noel De Lucia, Emily J. Algier, Naresh P. Patel, Richard S. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) refractory to medical management is often treated with microvascular decompression (MVD) involving the intracranial placement of Teflon. The placement of Teflon is an effective treatment, but does apply distributed pressure to the nerve and has been associated with pain recurrence. OBJECTIVE: To report the rate of postoperative pain recurrence in TN patients who underwent MVD surgery using a transposition technique with fibrin glue without Teflon. METHODS: Patients were eligible for our study if they were diagnosed with TN, did not have multiple sclerosis, and had an offending vessel that was identified and transposed with fibrin glue at our institution. All eligible patients were given a follow-up survey. We used a Kaplan-Meier (KM) model to estimate overall pain recurrence. RESULTS: A total of 102 patients met inclusion criteria, of which 85 (83%) responded to our survey. Overall, 76 (89.4%) participants responded as having no pain recurrence. Approximately 1-yr pain-free KM estimates were 94.1% (n = 83), 5-yr pain-free KM estimates were 94.1% (n = 53), and 10-yr pain-free KM estimates were 83.0% (n = 23). CONCLUSION: Treatment for TN with an MVD transposition technique using fibrin glue may avoid some cases of pain recurrence. The percentage of patients in our cohort who remained pain free at a maximum of 17 yr follow-up is on the high end of pain-free rates reported by MVD studies using Teflon. These results indicate that a transposition technique that emphasizes removing any compression near the trigeminal nerve root provides long-term pain-free rates for patients with TN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalOperative Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Microvascular decompression
  • Teflon
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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