Dr Profyris performs microvascular decompression, a minimally invasive surgical procedure as definitive treatment of various cranial nerve disorders and neuralgias.


Microvascular decompression is often advised for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that causes severe facial pain due to compression of the trigeminal nerve by a vein or artery surrounding it. It may also be used to treat hemifacial spasm, glossopharyngeal neuralgia and other neurovascular compression syndromes as the aim for this surgery is to relieve this nerve compression by releasing it and protecting it from further pressure through the placement of a sponge.


Dr Profyris performs Microvascular decompression in Johannesburg, South Africa, using a keyhole technique to provide a minimally invasive approach. In order to expose the specific nerve and the blood vessel compressing it, a mini-craniotomy is performed. This involves an incision being made behind the ear of the affected side. The skin and muscles are lifted off the bone and retracted. A small opening is made in the skull to expose the dura. An incision is made into this protective layer, and the brain is exposed. A corridor to the nerve at its origin with the brainstem is gently opened. Once the nerve has been located, the blood vessels nearby are moved away to relieve the pressure. Next, a specially designed, microscopic teflon sponge or pillow is placed over the nerve to protect and prevent the blood vessel from putting pressure on the nerve. If a particular vein is compressing the nerve, the vein may be cauterized or moved away. 

Microvascular decompression can successfully eliminate or reduce pain caused by neuralgia in the majority of cases; it commonly allows for immediate relief and is often long-term.

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