The aim of this study was to review the efficacy and safety of microvascular decompression (MVD) for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (ITN) in elderly patients older than 65 years.Methods
From June 2006 to June 2011, a total of 59 elderly patients with ITN underwent MVD. We performed a retrospective study of the medical records and compared the outcome data with those from 164 patients younger than 64 years during the same period.Results
The mean age of the elderly and younger patient groups was 72 and 55 years. The pain was completely relieved in 93.2% and partially relieved in another 5.1% of the elderly patient group after surgery. The mean follow-up period was 42 months (range, 16–75 mo). A total of 8.9% of the patients in the elderly patient group experienced recurrence. Headaches, nausea, and vomiting were more frequent complications. There were no mortalities and severe morbidities after surgery. Between the elderly and younger patient groups, no statistically significant differences existed in the outcomes.Conclusions
Microvascular decompression is a safe and effective procedure for elderly patients with ITN. It is recommended that any patients with ITN should have the opportunity to choose MVD, unless their condition cannot tolerate general anesthesia.