OBJECTIVE: For 75% of patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN), the pain can be controlled with medication. For those who fail medication therapy, surgical options include microvascular decompression (MVD), percutaneous radiofrequency rhizotomy (RFR), and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Few studies have explored the relative cost-effectiveness of these interventions, particularly in surgically naïve patients.
METHODS: A retrospective chart review performed between January 2003 and January 2013 identified a total of 89 patients who underwent surgical treatment for TN (MVD=27, RFR=23, SRS=39). Outcome measures included facial pain (excellent=no pain, no medications; good=no pain, medications required; fair=>50% decrease in pain; and poor=
RESULTS: The average age of patients for each procedure was MVD=53.9±16, RFR=76.2±16, and SRS=74.5±12 (p
CONCLUSION: There are significant cost differences among the three most common surgical procedures for TN. MVD was the most expensive procedure, was more likely to be performed on younger patients, had the lowest rate of facial numbness, and had the lowest rate of recurrence requiring a secondary procedure. SRS was slightly less costly, more likely to be performed on an older population, and had a rate of recurrence similar to MVD. RFR was the least expensive procedure, provided immediate relief, but was associated with the highest rates of facial numbness and recurrence. Based on cost-effectiveness, considering both cost and outcome, RFR was the most cost-effective, followed by MVD, and finally SRS.
HOLLAND, M; et al. The cost-effectiveness of surgery for trigeminal neuralgia in surgically naïve patients: a retrospective study. Clinical Neurology And Neurosurgery. Netherlands, 137, 34-37, Oct. 2015. ISSN: 1872-6968.