NJ Neurosurgeon Giving Hope to Those Suffering From "Suicide Disease"

Dr. Kevin Yao is Using Gamma Knife Treatment to Treat Trigeminal Neuralgia

ENGLEWOOD, N.J., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Trigeminal Neuralgia is widely known throughout the medical community to be the most painful condition a patient can suffer.  In fact, the pain is often so excruciating that the condition is referred to as the "Suicide Disease", a result of patients falling into such a deep state of suffering and depression that they often end their lives.  The typical patient with longstanding trigeminal neuralgia suffers social deprivation due to constant fear of an episode. One report showed that 50% of patients who suffered this condition for more than 3 years ended their lives.

The disorder is characterized by episodes of excruciating, dagger-like facial pain on one side of the face that lasts from a few seconds to several minutes or hours.  Normal activities such as eating, talking, or brushing one's teeth can often elicit the horrific pain. At its worst, even a light breeze across the face can trigger a severe pain attack. Consequently, patients often stop eating, talking, brushing teeth, and going outside for fear of an attack.

Traditionally, medical treatment is the initial treatment of choice. Inevitably, patients develop tolerance to medications, and often require invasive treatment such as surgical destruction of the trigeminal nerve or open brain surgery to relieve pressure from the trigeminal nerve.  In either technique, patients can experience side effects or complications such as facial numbness, facial paralysis, hearing loss, or worse.

Now, Dr. Kevin Yao, of Metropolitan Neurosurgery in Englewood, NJ is treating this condition with staggering success using a non-surgical technique known as Gamma Knife Radiosurgery.  This is the same type of treatment that has yielded high success rates for those with brain tumors and lesions.  Using this pioneering new procedure, Dr. Yao can achieve excellent durable pain relief in the vast majority of patients with a single, outpatient radiation treatment to the trigeminal nerve.   This approach does not require a surgical incision or traditional anesthesia. Patients typically experience complete relief of their pain shortly after the treatment and return to all their normal activities of eating, drinking, and enjoying life.

Dr. Yao is one of only a handful of physicians across the country using this revolutionary technique.  His expertise and involvement in the development of Gamma Knife Procedures is what has allowed him to use this treatment so effectively.

About Dr. Kevin Yao

Dr. Yao is a Board Certified Neurosurgeon who specializes in the treatment of conditions of the brain and spinal cord. He obtained his medical training in New York at Columbia University (M.D.) and at Mount Sinai Medical Center (Neurosurgical Residency). Dr. Yao then completed a fellowship in complex brain and spine tumor surgery at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He joined the Neurosurgical faculty at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, where Dr. Yao served as Co-Director of the Brain Tumor Center, Director of Spinal Oncology, and Director of Stereotactic Radiosurgery (Gamma Knife) at Tufts Medical Center. He subsequently returned to New York, where he maintains a busy private practice in New York City and suburban New Jersey.

Dr. Yao also holds the position of Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he continues to be actively involved in teaching and research. Dr. Yao strives to maximize each patient's quality of life by restoring and preserving neurological function.  Dr. Yao has also published numerous book chapters, abstracts and articles and is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

About Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery uses focused beams of radiation to target malignant brain tumors and conditions of the brain.  With Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, specialized equipment focuses as many 200 tiny beams of radiation on a tumor or other target. Separately, beams have very little effect as they pass through the brain tissue.  However, a high dose of radiation is delivered to the site where all the beams meet making it incredibly effective.  

Traditionally, for those with brain based conditions, an open surgical procedure was needed to excise the offending malignancy and the complications were abundant.  For others, large doses of radiation were applied to the entire brain.  This blanket approach led to what is known as "Radiation Toxicity", which caused patients to lose IQ points and have permanent functional impairments. Gamma Knife Radiosurgery causes no Radiation Toxicity and is performed on an outpatient basis.  

Media Contact:

Daniel Goldberg Gold Medical Marketing, 9732877916, Daniel@Goldmedicalmarketing.com

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