Surfs Up: Trigeminal Neuralgia Surgery Makes the Difference

Surfs Up - Trigeminal Neuralgia Patient back to the sea

Ken was living the life most 70 year olds dream of until the pain struck. He was surfing the summer waves of Hawaii and skiing the winter slopes of Vail. He was getting everything he could out of retirement…until the day his life turned upside down. Out of nowhere he began experiencing an intermittent stabbing, electrical shock-like pain seemingly searing into his right cheek.

Suddenly his life became a terrifying waiting game of wondering when the next painful salvo would hit. Somedays it was mysteriously absent, others were like hell. He couldn’t function because every jab of pain was like a hot poker pressed into his face.

He sought medical treatment and his doctor prescribed medications that suppressed the pain. He was grateful to get some relief but the tradeoff was experiencing sedating side-effects. He was feeling so off balance that surfing or skiing were out of the question.

After taking progressively increasing dosages of medication to dull the pain, he despaired that he was turning into an overmedicated zombie. He wanted his life back. Ken had had enough.

So three months ago he boarded a plane from Hawaii bound for Philadelphia to consult with me about corrective surgery for his Trigeminal Neuralgia. About eight weeks ago I performed a microvascular decompression on his trigeminal nerve by moving a tiny blood vessel away from his compressed nerve. This seemingly small adjustment reversed his condition.

He flew back home to Hawaii and to surfing. Microvascular Decompression of the Trigeminal Nervecured his pain and he no longer needs medications. It is an honor that he would come so far to entrust his life with me and my team at Centra State Medical Center. I'm thrilled to see the smile on his face.

Ken and I post-surgery.

Ken and Dr McLaughlin

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