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After Your Gamma Knife Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Thank you for choosing the Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center for your neurological care. Following a Gamma Knife® procedure, you may have questions about your recovery. The information listed below will help answer your questions and give you instructions for follow-up care.

For additional information or concerns, please contact us:

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. – Gamma Knife Department: (713) 704-3365
After hours and weekends – Mischer Neuroscience Associates: (713) 704-7100

What to Expect After the Procedure

For the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia Gamma Knife radiosurgery can take two to three months to take effect; therefore, continue to take your trigeminal neuralgia medications. It is normal to experience episodes of pain following the procedure. Someone will speak with you about tapering off your medication at your follow-up visit.

Some patients experience numbness around the pin sites, which may continue for several days after treatment. Moderate swelling and/or bruising around the pin sites is common. Some patients also experience swelling around the eyes. This will usually go away within a week of the procedure. You may also have headaches after the stereotactic frame is removed, but these should lessen within a day or so after the procedure. Feeling tired is also common, but most people are back to normal within a day or two after treatment.

Care for Pin Sites

Pin sites should be cleaned once daily with peroxide, antibiotic ointment and gauze, for three days following the procedure. The pin sites should be kept clean and dry. Do not shampoo your hair for 24 hours and avoid hair spray, mousse, gels, hair color or anything that may cause irritation, until the pin sites have completely healed.

Activity

You may resume normal pre-treatment activities as soon as you feel able to do so. Do not drive for 24 hours after the procedure. You may return to work when you feel ready, which is usually 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you have any of the following symptoms, please contact us immediately:

  • Increasing or new weakness or numbness
  • Severe or increasing headache
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Change in vision
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Signs of infection (redness, swelling or drainage at pin sites, and/or a fever of 101°F or more)