CyberKnife is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for TN. High-dose radiation is accurately delivered by a linear accelerator mounted on a highly maneuverable robotic arm. The procedure is painless and typically performed in one outpatient treatment session. Unlike other stereotactic radiation therapy treatments for TN, the CyberKnife does not use a rigid metal frame secured to the patient’s head with screws. Instead, TN patients wear a comfortable mesh face mask. The CyberKnife delivers hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation targeted directly to the trigeminal sensory nerve root, interrupting the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
The CyberKnife system uses a highly advanced computer-imaging system that can compensate for small head movements, allowing the patient to lie comfortably during the procedure.
Before treatment, the patient wears a light, flexible, and completely non-invasive mesh mask. The mask is fitted so that the patient is comfortable and able to breathe normally, see, and lie still during the treatment.
During treatment, the patient lies still and relaxes as the CyberKnife’s computer-controlled robotic arm moves around the head area, delivering high-dose radiation directly to the trigeminal nerve root and minimizing radiation to surrounding areas. After treatment, patients resume their normal activities.
CyberKnife treatment results in few to no side effects, with the most common being fatigue and occasionally numbness. The vast majority of CyberKnife treatments allow patients to resume their normal routines afterward. Some patients actually take naps during their treatments while others have reported going to lunch or mowing their lawns following treatment.
As numerous clinical studies show, CyberKnife offers an effective treatment option for TN while carrying an extremely low likelihood of negative side effects. CyberKnife’s ability to treat the trigeminal nerve root at an extremely precise level makes it an effective and non-invasive way to treat TN.