Introduction: In trigeminal neuralgia, when drug treatment proves ineffective, other management options must be considered. In this context, conventional radiofrequency of Gasser's ganglion is a safe and effective alternative.
Material and methods: We describe 5 patients with long-evolving trigeminal neuralgia subjected to conventional radiofrequency according to the Sweet technique, with a follow-up of two years.
Results: Pain relief was complete after two months in all cases. One patient suffered an unexpected episode of nausea, vomiting and foul odor sensation that subsided after three days of rest and drug treatment. Three patients described non-painful hypoesthesia in the region of the treated nerve branch that subsided within three months. The patients remained free of symptoms over long-term follow-up. In one case the same radiofrequency technique had to be repeated after 21 months because of the reappearance of symptoms in the same zone, followed by immediate pain relief.
Conclusions: In our series of patients trigeminal neuralgia was not controlled by drug treatment, and conventional radiofrequency targeted to Gasser's ganglion proved very effective, with no major complications.