Vagoglossopharyngeal neuralgia treated by microvascular decompression and glossopharyngeal rhizotomy: clinical results of 21 cases

Nan-Xiang Xiong, Hong-Yang Zhao, Fang-Cheng Zhang, Ru-En Liu
Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery 2012, 90 (1): 45-50

BACKGROUND: Microvascular decompression (MVD) and rhizotomy are all selected for treating vagoglossopharyngeal neuralgia (VGPN). Nonetheless, controversies still exist about their curative effect on VGPN. Here we evaluate the effectiveness of MVD together with rhizotomy of the glossopharyngeal nerve for the treatment of VGPN.

METHODS: This study was carried out on 21 patients who were diagnosed with VGPN between the years 2005 and 2010. Patients underwent MVD and glossopharyngeal rhizotomy through a retromastoid keyhole approach. Surgical technique, operation results and complications were our particular concern.

RESULTS: Eighteen (85.7%) of 21 patients experienced immediate and complete relief of pain after surgery. In the remaining 3 patients (14.3%), the pain faded away within the following week. No patient complained of dysphonia or dysphagia. All 21 patients reported no change in their outcome at follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: Intracranial vagoglossopharyngeal nerve MVD with glossopharyngeal rhizotomy is an effective and safe procedure to treat VGPN.

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