[Endoscopic assistance in microvascular decompression of cranial nerves]

V N ShimanskiÄ­, V V Karnaukhov, T A Sergienko, V K Poshataev, M S Semenov
Zhurnal Voprosy NeÄ­rokhirurgii Imeni N. N. Burdenko 2012, 76 (2): 3-10; discussion 10
Microvascular decompression (MVD) is an effective method for treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (TN), hemifacial spasm (HFS), glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN). The aim of this study was to assess the role of endoscopic assistance in MVD for the treatment of cranial neuropathies. Since 2009 till 2011 133 patients with cranial neuropathies were treated by MVD in Burdenko Neurosurgical Institute, Moscow. In 22 patients (11 patients with HFS, 10 patients with TN, 1 with GPN) endoscopic assistance was applied during the MVD. We used minimally invasive retrosigmoid approach in a unilateral position. Cerebellopontine angle was explored by 30-degree or 70-degree telescope to visualize the root entry zone of trigeminal, facial or glossopharyngeal nerves and to locate the neurovascular conflict. In 9 patients with HFS and in 1 patient with TN and in another patient with GPN endoscopy discovered offending vessels that were not visible through the microscope. In all cases endoscope was used to exclude another site of compression and to verify decompression and to identify position of teflon and offending vessel after MVD. Immediately after the surgery excellent outcome was observed in 10 patients with HFS (89%), one patient was reoperated 1.5 years after first operation with positive effect. Relief of pain in early postoperative period was observed in patients with TN and GPN. There were no major complications and postoperative mortality in our series. Endoscopic assistance is very effective and helpful technique in MVD of cranial nerves, especially in cases with HFS. In this study the use of the endoscope allowed to identify the site of compression and to confirm the position of teflon after MVD.

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