MVD without MRI

Has anyone had a MVD without an MRI. I am a 63 year old man living in Talent, Oregon diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia about 2 1/2 years ago. I have seen a neurologist in my area and he along with other professionals have suggested the MVD surgery. I was not capable of doing an MRI due to some metal wires left in my back from a back surgery. I just recently had a cat scan done, with and without contrast and my neurologist says it looks normal. I still have Trigeminal neuralgia and need to get the surgery. My question is has anyone had an MVD without being able to see exactly whats going on in there and just going on the symptoms.

From what I understand from the research and others here is that an MRI can't show a compressed nerve and that is what MVD surgery addresses.

I hope that helps.


Thanks for the response Shirl. However my pain specialist says they can detect just whats happening with an MRI. He wants me to have the wires in my back removed, then have the MRI. I'm really not interested in having yet another surgery if I can possibly get the MVD on my classic TN symptoms alone. I have had no remission this entire year and was in quite an acute state for about 2 months when I finally put a concoction of medicine together myself and then had it approved and amended by my pain specialist. I've been doing well with that for about a month and now it's starting to come thru again and with it of course the anxiety. Theres no doubt in my mind or my pain specialists mind that I need this surgery but I don't know if a neurosurgeon will do it without having the MRI results. I live in a rather small community and there are few who have even done an MVD so I'm searching more broadly in my state for a neurosurgeon to even answer my questions. This is my quest rt now to find one and find out what they can and cannot do. Again thank you for your response. This site and forum have been extremely helpful in getting me thru this. My heart goes out to anyone dealing with this ailment.

With TN an MRI is used more so for ruling out other causes such as MS or a tumour. Even if you have a blood vessel or vein pressing on your nerve often times it does not show up on an MRI.

Typically MVD surgery is a very good option for people with Type 1 TN. Some Drs offer it for Type 2 as well but unfortunately many do not (some evidence suggests and can be successful for Type 2-there seems to be a lot of conflicting information about that).

I have read lots of other people's experience with this and I think often times they go in "blind" not knowing if there is a compression or not until they are in there.

So yes I would say that MVD is an option without an MRI

Most surgeons will not do the MVD without first know through imaging what they may be dealing with. I am living proof that you can go in, and find the cause it something totally unexpected. No, not everything shows up on a MRI, but I do not know of any surgeon willing to go in totally blind. At OHSU they do 3d MRI's that show things clearly, but again they are MRIs.

If you are looking for a neurosurgeon I would highly recommend Dr. Raslan at OHSU here in Portland. He has done all five of my TN procedures.

My MVD guru did my surgery… On the fact that my meds made me stupid…side effects
. He does not care if compressions can be seen.

There was no compression on MRI … He went in my head and found 2!

You have got to find a new neurologist that will work with what you got

Especially with TN 1 !

I am 2.5 years post op, no meds , no pain