Microvascular Decompression

Microvascular decompression is a surgical procedure that takes pressure off a compressed cranial nerve.

Conditions Treated

Microvascular decompression is used to treat a range of conditions, such as:

  • Trigerminal neuralgia
  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia
  • Hemifacial spasm


The patient is under general anaesthetic.  A craniotomy is performed but surgically opening the skull and then the surgeon exposes the nerve at the base of the brainstem.  A small sponge is positioned between the compressing vessel and the nerve.  In some cases if a vein is causing compression it is cauterised and moved away.


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