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Patient Testimonials and Trigeminal Neuralgia Resources

 Trigeminal Neuralgia: Success Stories

Barbara G., Thousand Oaks, CA
I am only able to write this letter today because of Dr. Hrayr Shahinian's healing hands and modern surgical practices.

It all began when I developed a sharp pain in my tooth. My dentist recommended a root canal based solely on the pain. The pain not only continued, it intensified. After a second root canal, the pain resumed in both intensity and frequency. I was experiencing excruciating and debilitating pain in my tooth any time I ate, talked or moved. The only relief I had was during sleep. I consulted an orthodontist and was gruffly told that my pain was psychological and nothing further could be done. After pleading, I was referred to the Pain Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in early July. By this time, my pain was 10 on a scale of 1-10.

One of the doctors at the Center diagnosed me with trigeminal neuralgia. Surgery was briefly mentioned as an option but not encouraged; the recommended plan of action was a drug regimen. I was told that once the medication had reduced the pain to 1 or zero, it would be followed by a brief, pill-free period of remission, only to be followed again by recurring pain and more medication. I was appalled that this program was only masking the pain and that these cycles would become my life. By this time, I had lost weight (and had lost my mind from the pain) and was unable to work.

For several weeks, the medication did gradually reduce the pain to about a 6, and I was trying to complete the film I was producing. However, I began having frequent “breakthrough” episodes where my debilitating, excruciating pain would override the medication. Three weeks into the medication program, I collapsed when attempting to stand up. My speech was gibberish, and I temporarily lost consciousness. The next day, my husband drove me to the Pain Center and I demanded immediate surgery. I was referred to Dr. Shahinian, who met with me within the hour.

Dr. Shahinian was the consummate professional; he answered my myriad questions with candor and competence. He explained the surgical procedure in detail, including its risks and benefits. I was impressed with his reliance on the less invasive endoscopic procedure than I had read about.

My husband has asked me to mention that midway through the surgery Dr. Shahinian phoned him in the lobby to advise him about my progress. My husband was deeply touched and relieved. When I awoke I noticed two things: I was totally pain-free for the first time in eight weeks, and Dr. Shahinian was standing next to my bed in ICU telling me I was going to be all right. My recovery was rapid and complete.

I am eternally grateful to Dr. Shahinian and his use of a less invasive technique, which not only relieved my pain, but also hastened my recovery with no nerve damage. My own research has revealed there could have been damage had a less progressive surgical procedure been used.

Thankfully, I have now been pain-free for several years. I applaud Dr. Shahinian, his knowledge and medical skills. I urge you to put your trust in this consummate professional who is a gift to the medical community.


Barbara G.
Thousand Oaks, CA

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