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Patient Testimonials and Trigeminal Neuralgia Resources

 Trigeminal Neuralgia: Success Stories

Joan G., Elk Grove, CA
I am writing to express my support for Hrayr K. Shahinian, M.D., Director of the Skull Base Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. I respect Dr. Shahinian's work and want him to continue providing people with an alternative to highly invasive brain surgery (open craniotomy).

I do not know Dr. Shahinian personally, but I know for sure that he gave my sister Frances her life back. For over ten years, Fran lived with unbearable, debilitating facial pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia (TN). The pain caused by this disorder has been described as the worst pain known to man. Fran went to numerous medical specialists and underwent various medical treatments, including three Gamma Knife surgeries. After each Gamma Knife surgery, she experienced only temporary relief. She also took extremely high doses of anti-convulsive medications without relief. The drugs also caused her to lose her balance (she fell often and had to use a cane) and began to destroy her liver. Even with the medication, the pain continued. While Fran is normally an optimistic, confident person, the incessant pain discouraged and depressed her. After three Gamma Knife procedures, doctors told Fran they would not perform a fourth. Medication was no longer mitigating the pain, and life became unbearable. Fran knew that she needed to undergo the only alternative - invasive brain surgery.

Then, miraculously, Fran was referred to Dr. Hrayr K. Shahinian, an innovative doctor who offered a better alternative to invasive brain surgery. Dr. Shahinian performed endoscopic vascular decompression (EVD) on Fran. He skillfully entered her brain through a dime-sized opening behind her ear, using an endoscope. He very quickly identified Fran's problem - a blood vessel pushing on her trigeminal nerve. He then meticulously separated the offending blood vessel and nerve and inserted a Teflon disk between them. Fran was released from the hospital within a day or two of the procedure. She experienced immediate and complete relief from the pain she had suffered for ten years. Fran credits Dr. Shahinian with saving her life. She considers him a gift from GOD.

I do not want anyone to have to suffer as Fran suffered. I want them to have the hope and relief from a pain-filled life offered by Dr. Shahinian. I want them to be able to choose an alternative to invasive surgery with its concomitant risks, complications, lengthy hospital stays and long recovery times. Fran's recovery was life-altering, not only for her but also for all of us who love her. And we have Dr. Shahinian to thank for that.


Joan G.
Elk Grove, CA

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