Good 1.5 years, I had pain. Initially, it manifested in the left upper jaw and the left temple. Later, it also affected the cheekbone up to the left eye. Constant stabbing pain in the temple accompanied me. I went from the dentist (treating the gums to drilling a tooth), to the ENT doctor (MRI of the sinuses), and to the general practitioner back and forth. Each one said they found nothing.
After a month, the back left molar was then extracted in the hope that it was causing me pain. Unfortunately, the pain did not improve but got worse. My left facial half and the scalp burned like fire. The slightest breath of wind, a hair on the skin, and it exploded on my face. Combing my hair became torture.
I was treated for shingles by my general practitioner for 6 weeks, without success. I was very desperate until he said he didn’t know what to do anymore and referred me to the hospital in Kulmbach. There, an MRI revealed that I had trigeminal neuralgia. I was admitted for a week and adjusted with tablets. These kept me relatively pain-free for about 4 months. After that, they became stronger. I received a higher dose; unfortunately, it was increased month by month until the maximum level was reached. I then went back to the hospital as my neurologist was on vacation. I was admitted for a week again, and a switch to different tablets was attempted. They didn’t help at all, and I was recommended to undergo surgery. Meanwhile, my left facial half and the scalp felt numb, and I had constant pain.
My neurologist connected me with Prof. Dr. Feigl in Bamberg. I even got an appointment promptly. Prof. Dr. Feigl explained to me that there was a vascular-nerve contact. Unfortunately, since I had constant pain, I only had a 50% chance of healing. After careful consideration, I decided to undergo the surgery. Now, 3 months have passed, and I am satisfied with my decision to have the surgery. I no longer take any pills. I still have some pain, but not all day, and it is bearable even without medication. I would definitely undergo the surgery again, but I would have been glad if I had known about it earlier. This way, a long path of suffering would have been spared.
Many thanks to Prof. Dr. Feigl and his team. Also, to the nursing staff who, during the time of Corona, were very stressed but always kind and helpful—many thanks. A thousand thanks to my husband and children, who have always supported me and helped me with my decision. I can only advise everyone to dare to take this step. It’s a challenging journey, but you regain your quality of life.
On March 21st, my trigeminal neuralgia in branch V3 on the right was successfully operated on by Prof. Dr. Dr. Feigl after the blood vessel/nerve contact was confirmed in advance. The surgical procedure that Prof. Feigl uses is called Microvascular Decompression according to Janetta. This means that the procedure is minimally invasive and does not require a large opening in the head.
As soon as I woke up in the intensive care unit, I had a very good feeling. This was confirmed shortly afterward during the first tooth brushing (every affected person knows this daily horror scenario) – the pain was gone. The aftereffects of the surgery, which I was prepared for, such as headaches, dizziness, and a slight numbness in the right side of the face, improved from day to day. Rapid head movements are not recommended at first, but you quickly get used to it. After 8 days, I was discharged; the dizziness was gone, the headaches had already decreased significantly, and the numbness will surely go away, even if it takes a bit longer.
Already in the clinic, I tried to test all the bad triggers: tooth brushing and gargling, shaving, fresh fruit (especially apples and oranges), chocolate balls with truffle filling and powdered sugar, hot plum compote with shredded pancakes, and much more at home.
Everything is great, no more pain, lightning attacks, etc. A liberating feeling, even if at first, you still act somewhat cautiously. But normality will soon return here as well.
I cannot thank Prof. Feigl enough, who, already in the first consultation, calmly, absolutely competently, and confidently explained the options through the surgery. He performed the perfect work that allowed me to live a pain-free life without all the limitations again.
My thanks, of course, also go to his entire team, the anesthesiology, the intensive care nurses, the physiotherapist, and all the staff on Ward 11/F. Everyone was always friendly, attentive, and helpful. Also, in general, I can wholeheartedly recommend this modern hospital.
For those interested, a brief history:
About 5 years ago, a medium-sized tooth, bottom right, repeatedly caused me problems and occasional mild pain. My dentist said everything was fine with the tooth.
On my own initiative, I then visited a recognized naturopath, acupuncture, special vitamin injections. After about 12 sessions, I stopped because there was no improvement.
Treatment by a specially trained head physiotherapist. Also without success.
Then came the key experience. After showering, 1 (!!!) drop of water ran down my right cheek, and I froze in pain. I had no idea where that came from and what it could be.
Back to the dentist, then to the maxillofacial surgeon – all X-rays were fine. The maxillofacial surgeon then said: Why don’t you see a neurologist?
Visit to the neurologist, on whose initiative an MRI was performed, suspicion confirmed: blood vessel-nerve contact, trigeminal neuralgia on the right.
At that time, the pain was still bearable and not too frequent.
In April 3 years ago, I started medication with carbamazepine. Starting with 2 x 50mg per day, I was at 2 x 200mg in October. Meanwhile, the pain attacks were more frequent, including lightning-like shots. Still in October a year later, we were in M-Großhadern. The hope was Cyber-Knife. MRI images were taken again, confirming trigeminal neuralgia. The doctor there then rejected treatment; I was still too young and had room for an increase in medication. He would rather recommend surgery.
Until November of the next year, it became increasingly unbearable. In ever shorter intervals and with full force, the lightning bolts shot in with the known triggers. I had pain attacks where you want to throw yourself in front of a train. In this November, I had the three worst weeks. Even speaking was often difficult for me, as the pain spread under my tongue. My medication was now 2 x 700mg carbamazepine per day. I could hardly eat anything; if I touched my cheek or upper lip with my own finger, I froze in pain. My neurologist said I could increase the dose, or we could combine 2 medications, although liver values were already significantly elevated. Constant fatigue also came. I was at an absolute low point. Still, I didn’t want to take more tablets; I wanted to get away from them. My wife sat across from me, sympathized, and still couldn’t help me.
So I googled and quickly came across Prof. Dr. Dr. Feigl, read his resume, and the patient testimonials. I immediately gained hope. My doubts about letting someone into my head disappeared. Right after the holidays, on January 9th, I had the consultation with Prof. Feigl in Bamberg.
Prof. Feigl immediately confirmed to me after the already described explanation that he would perform the surgery. The alternative would be more tablets, but the mechanical defect would not disappear. I would have to make the decision for myself. After a few days of consideration, I confirmed my approval for the surgery. From the beginning, I had complete confidence in Prof. Feigl and was sure that I could have him operate on my head without any worries. It was the right decision.
To all those affected who experience all the torments every day, I can only recommend not to postpone anything. Sure, the thought of letting someone into your head is scary. With Prof. Feigl, however, I found a neurosurgeon who is a master of his craft and whom I could fully trust. And every year with more and more tablets is a lost year. I wish all those affected that they can soon be relieved of their pain and enter a new, pain-free phase of life.
In November, I was operated on the trigeminal nerve by Professor Dr. Dr. Feigl and his team at Sozialstiftung Bamberg. I would do it again immediately – my quality of life has fundamentally improved. Before the operation, I had facial pain for years, and in the previous summer, a massive trigeminal neuralgia set in. Several times a day, I experienced short, extremely intense pain attacks, accompanied by chronic unilateral facial pain. A high dose of carbamazepine and pregabalin slightly improved the symptoms but with strong side effects. The situation was stressful for me and, of course, for the family. Through pain therapy, I came to Professor Feigl in September. I felt understood from the beginning, was well informed about possible treatments, and then decided very quickly for a Janetta operation. The surgery went very well from my point of view. The side effects such as nausea, slight dizziness, and ringing in the ears, for which I was prepared in the pre-talk, were over after a few days. I was able to stop pregabalin immediately and gradually reduce carbamazepine over 8 weeks. I also needed that time to get used to a life without headaches. They disappeared directly after a few days, and I left the hospital 6 days after the operation. My thanks go not only to Professor Feigl but to the entire neurosurgery team. Without any reservations, I felt comfortable from the first examination to the discharge.
Dear Prof. Dr. Dr. Feigl,
It has been almost 10 weeks since the operation, and it is time to report on the further course. After your wonderful intervention, I am absolutely pain-free, feel like I have been reborn, and experience an entirely new quality of life every day. Thanks to your gifted hands, excellent professionalism, rich experience, and, not least, your fine, calm way of encountering and healing patients, you have been a true blessing for me. Even beauty and aesthetics, which are important to us women, have been taken into account. The scar disappears at the hairline and is neither noticeable, palpable, nor visible. Thank you very much for your excellent work.
I could endure the 9-year pain odyssey without medication only because, as you know, I supplied my body with high-quality vital substances, thus avoiding the problematic side effects of medication. Nevertheless, the pain was often unbearable and pushed me to my limits, but the vital substances repeatedly strengthened me both physically and mentally. They never let me give up hope of finding a fundamental and causal solution. I am fully aware that without your intervention, I would not be pain-free today.
Although I quickly felt very fit, I naturally adhered to the 6 weeks of rest (no heavy lifting, vibrations, cycling, etc.) to avoid jeopardizing the excellent results and your efforts. I will gladly recommend you to others.
I want to thank you once again, wish you continued strength, joy, and God’s blessings for you personally, your family, and your work.
This is a message to affected patients suffering from the severe pains of trigeminal neuralgia.
I endured these pains for a little over 3 years. Initially, they manifested in the lower left jaw, specifically around the 4th and 5th teeth. The pains occurred during speaking, eating, and chewing, often accompanied by increased saliva production. In the beginning, the pains were relatively mild compared to the intensifying pains over the years. Medications like Lyrica and others were ineffective. A bite splint, designed to alleviate nocturnal teeth clenching, aimed to “calm” the jaw muscles and counteract potential irritation of the trigeminal nerve. Concurrently, I underwent numerous sessions of physiotherapy to relax the muscles in the head.
Indeed, the pains became less frequent, and at times, they disappeared for weeks. However, when they returned, they were consistently 1 to 2 levels more intense. It was an ebb and flow. Towards the end, the pain level reached 10, with some episodes even escalating to 10++. My doctor eventually referred me to the neurological department at Bamberg Hospital. There, attempts were made to manage the pains with medications. A saliva patch, reducing saliva flow, provided some relief. Nevertheless, achieving a pain-free existence with medications proved unattainable.
Professor Feigl explained that, since medications weren’t effective, I likely had a blood vessel-nerve contact causing the pain. This mechanical issue leading to pain episodes could be confirmed through an MRI. The MRI indeed revealed a blood vessel-nerve contact, as shown to me by Professor Feigl based on the images.
Professor Feigl elaborated extensively on the two options available to “turn off” the pain. There’s a thermal intervention and a surgical method to treat the pain. After a comprehensive explanation of the surgical procedure known as “Janetta,” I opted for the surgical method because it offers a healing chance between 80% and 98%, ensuring a permanent relief from pain.
Now, it’s been 3 weeks since the operation, personally performed by Professor Feigl. When I woke up from anesthesia after the operation, my pains were immediately gone. I’ve been back home for 2 weeks now, and the pains are still absent. I believe I can assess my healing success at 98%.
In general, I want to highly commend Professor Feigl. He is a very kind doctor, exuding a reassuring and trustworthy demeanor towards patients, and an excellent medical professional, as evidenced by the successful operation on my brain. His medical team was always friendly, helpful, and provided clear explanations to my questions. I felt well-advised and consistently in good hands.
I want to express my gratitude to Professor Feigl and his medical team for this outstanding medical achievement. I can only recommend everyone to undergo the operation.
Additionally, I want to thank the nurses, healthcare personnel, and service staff. They were always friendly, patient, and helpful, which is comforting when one is restricted by pain. Thank you once again. When I was in the Intensive Care Unit after the operation, a young nurse was very kind and caring – thanks also to that nurse.
Regarding the 2-week hospital stay in Bamberg, I can only report positive experiences. The food was very good, with a rich selection. Therefore, my thanks to the cooking and service team.
I wish every pain-afflicted patient experiences the same healing successes as in my case.
If anyone has questions, I’m willing to share my experiences.
(…) Through research on the internet, I came across Prof. Feigl from the Bamberg Hospital. During my first visit to Prof. Feigl, he explained this disease to me based on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan I had done in Jena. This explanation allowed even a layperson to grasp the nature of this condition.
Prof. Feigl presented various treatment options to me (…). Initially, he prescribed the medication Carbamazepine (…), which helped for about a year, and then suddenly stopped being effective. Following the prearranged plan, I called Prof. Feigl, and a surgery date was scheduled at the Bamberg Hospital.
(…) On the morning after my arrival, I was picked up at around 8:30 am for the preoperative preparations. (…) Around 2:30 pm, I woke up in the intensive care unit. My thoughts and reactions were immediately back. Of course, I had severe headaches, but the pains caused by trigeminal neuralgia were completely gone. I did not experience any pain from the surgery on my head or at the scar behind my ear. The next day around 2:00 pm, I was brought back to the regular ward. During this time, the headaches had noticeably diminished. On the fourth day, aside from mild headaches, I was completely pain-free and could move without restrictions. (…)
My total stay in the hospital was just ten days, which I left pain-free and whistling (truly).
Summary: In hindsight, I should have undergone this surgery immediately after the diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia or at the latest, a year later, because I’ve lost three years of quality of life. My special thanks go once again to Prof. Feigl and his wonderful team.
After 11 years of suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, I underwent the surgical procedure in Bamberg, and with the day of the operation, life was granted to me anew in December.
I am 52 years old and a single mother of twins. Throughout the course of the disease, I tried many remedies promising relief from the pain. In the last two years, my children gave me the strength not to let the illness prevail. Meanwhile, the side effects of the medications also became apparent. Although I had immense respect for this procedure, I intensively searched the internet for someone in whom I could place my trust and for a clinic where I had a good feeling. I was aware that I needed to address the root cause of the disease. All potential risks and chances of success are not really uplifting, but they are real and understood by few.
Nevertheless, my decision was made for the procedure. Already in my first appointment with Prof. Dr. Feigl, I was positively surprised. A doctor who is genuinely committed and takes this niche of the disease seriously. One who translates his knowledge into action and perfects his skills. I was aware that if someone could help me, and no matter what happens, everything possible would be done here. This fundamental feeling was extremely important to me. I gave someone permission to delve into my inner self, with the opening of my skull. I reached for the last straw to escape the vicious cycle. In the summer of this year, the disease forced me to quit my job. Every pain attack could strike anytime, anywhere. I dreamed of the described attacks that only last seconds. A pain attack could last up to three-quarters of an hour and occur at short intervals. All the medications I took didn’t really help, but out of desperation, you swallow them day after day.
After 5 days post-operation, I saw the surgical wound for the first time. Amazing! Truly as small as promised.
Even in the clinic, Prof. Dr. Feigl supported me in tapering off medications. A relief for my body and shedding the straitjacket. Although the regeneration phase takes a lot of time, it is a great feeling to be able to move freely.
I am 49 years old and have been suffering from trigeminal neuralgia for many years, causing phases of very intense pain. Unfortunately, I have not been able to achieve lasting improvement through conventional or alternative medicine. In April, the situation became particularly severe, with pain attacks occurring day and night without significant breaks.
Through the internet, I became aware of Prof. Dr. Dr. Feigl and quickly secured an appointment. It was a relief to finally meet a doctor who was highly knowledgeable about this type of condition. Prof. Feigl explained various treatment approaches beyond medication, suggesting new MRI scans and additional examinations to assess the possibility of surgery.
During my examination appointments, I was in very poor condition, with difficulty speaking and being physically and mentally distressed. I felt very well and, above all, treated with great empathy and consideration by Prof. Feigl, his secretary, the nurses, and the other doctors who examined me at the Bamberg Clinic. This was a unique experience compared to other hospitals. The chief physician’s secretary also scheduled all appointments for me, which was a significant relief when speaking was challenging due to pain.
Although I had little hope, it turned out that surgery was possible. This realization is a great relief for me. At the moment, I am pain-free due to the intake of Oxcarbazepine, and the side effects are bearable. However, I know that if the dosage becomes insufficient or the side effects become too severe, I can opt for surgery. On one hand, I fear the operation on my head, but on the other hand, I have great confidence in Prof. Feigl, and most importantly, I have a perspective for my future.
TN – My Journey to Surgery with Dr. Feigl
At the end of May, I experienced mild discomfort in the right side of my face (temples, eye, cheek). In June, sudden and unbearable pain attacks began (level 10 out of 10 on the pain scale), lasting for minutes. This led to my first hospitalization in neurology, where I was prescribed Carbamazepine, which temporarily relieved the pain but caused severe side effects, including dramatic liver values, rash, chills, extreme fatigue, and mental fatigue. Although doctors initially dismissed the idea of surgery as an alternative, considering a conservative medication therapy, Carbamazepine had to be immediately discontinued and replaced with Pregabalin and other medications due to the side effects. The pain returned despite this medication change, leading to another hospital admission.
Simultaneously, against medical advice, I contacted Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Günther C. Feigl from the Department of Neurosurgery at Sozialstiftung Bamberg, and an initial consultation was scheduled. The diagnosis confirmed a typical trigeminal neuralgia that couldn’t be optimally treated or eliminated with medication in my case. After a short consideration period, a surgery date was set. This surgery was 100% successful, and I have been pain-free since then. Medications have already been significantly reduced, and I am in the side effect-free phase of tapering off all medications. Two weeks after the surgery, I have almost fully recovered, experiencing no lingering effects.
The preoperative consultation with Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Günther C. Feigl was very informative, clarifying, and instrumental in my decision-making process. It allowed me to approach the surgery without any fear. His entire surgical team and all hospital staff involved demonstrated professional expertise along with kindness and personal commitment.
Based on my personal experience and research, it is incomprehensible why the surgery after ‘Jannetta’ is not immediately proposed as a possible alternative to all patients suffering from such severe trigeminal neuralgia. The months, sometimes years, or even decades of taking such massive medications have a significant physical and psychological impact on every patient. Through this ‘Jannetta’ surgery, as per my experience, the painful journey can be significantly shortened.
The “flashes” first occurred in May (at the age of 29) in the lower right jaw, following the completion of my doctorate. Initially thought to be toothache, the usual odyssey began. In the following years, the lightning-like pains returned punctually during summer vacations until my general practitioner suspected Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN). The nerve-vessel contact was confirmed through an MRI. I was initially treated with Gabapentin and later switched to Carbamazepine (CBZ), which worked relatively well for me. When the pain disappeared after 6-8 weeks, I started tapering off Tegretol.
In the summer, I wanted to take CBZ preventively to finally enjoy a pain-free summer vacation. It worked in the short term, but when I tapered it off, the flashes started independently of vacation time. In this phase (November), side effects occurred for the first time (severe rash in the genital area), and the doctor tried to switch me to Gabapentin and Oxcarbazepine, which made the pain much more intense. Relief only came when I returned to CBZ.
I started tapering off again, and during that time, I unconsciously bit on a hard biscuit, triggering my first exacerbation, of which I was previously unaware. The suddenly occurring pain attack lasted about 50 minutes with uninterrupted continuous pain of level 10 – not described in the literature, and only a few patients report that the pain can last longer than the 2 minutes stated in the literature. The pain attacks became more frequent and intense, and continuous pain was triggered two more times (brushing teeth). I decided to undergo surgery immediately, fearing the continuous pain. The first neurosurgeon who wanted to operate on me asked, “Does it hurt?” – I realized he hadn’t seen many TN patients. I found another neurosurgeon in Austria who had successfully operated on several patients according to Janetta’s method, and I was personally operated on by him.
When I woke up in the recovery room, I already noticed that the “flashes” occurred just as often as before the surgery. I was told that these were probably phantom pains, and I had to give the nerve some time. The surgery itself also bothered me because I couldn’t move a millimeter due to the trapped air for four days without vomiting. Since the “flashes” were already subsiding, I still hoped that the nerve would calm down on its own and the “flashes” would not occur again. Unfortunately, the attacks recurred after reducing CBZ in the fall, even though the MRI and the neurosurgeon informed me that the nerve-vessel contact had been resolved. For me, it was clear that the surgery was not a solution. I was now looking for alternatives because I knew I couldn’t endure this for the rest of my life: I tried acupuncture, Botox, physiotherapy, osteopathy, various remedies for relief, stress reduction, etc.! I suspected everything and everyone and clung to every “hope.” So, I finally tried amalgam removal, which resulted in a hospital stay because I had severe exacerbations due to the procedure, leading to the dreaded continuous pain (up to 60 minutes) – it was so intense that even swallowing the necessary tablet triggered continuous pain. Due to the severe pain, it was recommended to undergo psychotherapy in addition. To qualify for statutory psychotherapy, I also had to see a pain therapist, and she said, “Let’s do another MRI – a second opinion is never bad.” So, I had the MRI discussion in the fall, and the neurosurgeon assured me with conviction: “The nerve-vessel contact definitely exists in your case!”
Initially shocked but more delighted that there might be a chance to eliminate the “triggering” cause. However, this time, I wanted the best surgeon for a second operation, knowing that this might be my last chance. From the forum, I only knew the names: Dr. Ulrich, Dr. Hampl, and Dr. Feigl. I knew one of them had to be the right choice, even if I had to pay for the surgery myself. Since the book by Ms. Brockes was published during this period, in which Dr. Feigl gives a very good interview, I decided to get an appointment with him. In November, I went to his office, and I was very impressed with his knowledge and understanding. He also looked at the images and said surgery would be sensible due to the findings. Additionally, I already had problems with CBZ because I needed higher doses to be pain-free, and the liver values were constantly getting worse. We agreed to wait a bit until the pain broke out again, as this would better assess the success of the surgery. He also informed me that a second operation could have serious consequences due to scarring (damage to the auditory nerve, facial nerve, etc.), but I thought as long as the TN can be contained.
In March, the first flashes occurred again at 1000mg CBZ, and I scheduled a surgery appointment. Until then, things went up and down; in any case, minutes before the surgery, I still had 3 “strong” flashes, and since the surgery (about 2 weeks ago), I haven’t had a single TN-like pain!!! Headaches and slight dull jaw pain are still present, but the main thing is no more flashes. I was shown the surgery images, and it is assumed that only an artery was underpadded during the first surgery. However, Dr. Feigl underpadded everything with Teflon because a vein strongly pressed on the nerve, and the so-called “Root Entry Zone” was also affected. There is often still the belief that veins cannot trigger TN, only arteries – but Dr. Feigl has seen multiple times through his many years of experience that veins can indeed be responsible. The underpadding of the “Root Entry Zone” is also described as beneficial in the latest publications (see: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5143191/)
Now, two weeks after the surgery, I have already started slowly tapering off CBZ and hope to be CBZ-free and pain-free by the end of the year. I am aware that recurrences can occur, but at the moment, I feel healed and hope that the flashes will never come back.
For about 2 years, I (female, 69 years old) suffered from severe, very painful trigeminal neuralgia. Alternative medicine as well as conventional medicine could only help me temporarily and inadequately, if at all, and minimize the unbearable pain. In the last six months, my condition worsened further. The pain occurred at increasingly shorter intervals, eventually every 5 – 10 minutes. At this point, it was clear to me that I could not continue living like this. My daughter then searched for help on the internet and – what a stroke of luck – found Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Günther Feigl at the Bamberg Clinic. On the same day, I was able to attend an initial examination. My medical condition was explained to me in great detail and in an understandable way. It became apparent that only surgery could provide a permanent solution.
By the way, my head had been examined a year earlier via MRI. At that time, I was told that there was no apparent cause for the severe pain. Prof. Feigl called up these year-old images on the computer and was able to show me that the causative defect was already present at that time. MRI images are only as good as the person interpreting them.
In March, I was then operated on by Prof. Feigl at the Bamberg Clinic. My skull was opened behind the right ear, and the irritated trigeminal nerve was padded with Teflon sponges, so that the pain-triggering contacts to blood vessels, etc. were blocked (hopefully I explained that correctly as a layperson). Immediately after the surgery, I was completely pain-free in the recovery room! Not even the surgical wound caused me pain. While I had expected and hoped for pain relief, I really did not expect to be completely pain-free immediately. After 10 days in the hospital, I was allowed to go home. Until today, 3 months after the surgery, I continue to be pain-free.
For me, and also for other doctors familiar with me and my medical condition, it is more than astonishing that Prof. Feigl has apparently found a way to permanently eliminate trigeminal neuralgia. I was and am more than satisfied with the course of treatment. In addition, I must also commend the Bamberg Clinic, including the intensive care unit, the nursing station, and the medical team around Prof. Feigl. There was no reason to criticize anything. Prof. Feigl was a stroke of luck for me. I am very grateful to him for the outstanding professional help.
The first pains started 10 years ago. My general practitioner immediately diagnosed TN and prescribed common painkillers, which showed no effect. After researching on the internet, I found that Carbamazepine is the only effective medication for TN. My doctor prescribed 300 mg per day, which provided no relief. The attacks became more intense and lasted longer. Then there were months of ‘time-outs’ where I felt no pain at all. I stopped CBZ, thinking I was rid of the suffering. But it came back, worse than before. The worst attack lasted an entire night!
In the meantime, a neurologist treated me, increasing the dosage to 1200 mg per day. This only had limited effectiveness, as the constant pain persisted and could suddenly lead to unbearable flashes through shaving or brushing teeth. There were no more time-outs. It couldn’t go on like this. I pinned all my hopes on surgery. An MRI was done. The radiologist looked at the CD and told me that surgery was not an option in my case, as the cause of the pain could not be seen on the CD. This was a big disappointment, especially since my neurologist shared the same opinion. To be sure, I consulted another neurologist, and he also ruled out surgery.
It didn’t take long before I experienced constant pain on the upper lip and in the jaw area. Swallowing was extremely painful, shaving was impossible, and brushing teeth was equally so. In a short time, I lost 8 kg. My family and I were completely desperate. Since the neurologists couldn’t name a specialist for trigeminal neuralgia, we searched intensively on the internet. We found it! Prof. Dr. Dr. G. Feigl, Chief Physician of the Clinic for Neurosurgery at Bamberg Hospital, specializes in trigeminal neuralgia and has extensive experience in this field. The comments from those operated on by him and his team gave me great hope. I immediately contacted his office and got an appointment in May.
Prof. Feigl took a lot of time for me. He looked at my CD and immediately recognized the spot that could be the trigger for TN pain. In my case, he considers surgery after Janetta to be promising. He discusses the pros and cons of this surgery with me and takes time for my questions. I feel in good hands. Finally, a glimmer of hope that this suffering can come to an end. I was operated on by Prof. Feigl and his competent team. Since waking up from the surgery, I have not felt the slightest TN pain. I have been absolutely pain-free for 3 weeks now. I have to slowly taper off CBZ. It is unimaginable; we can’t quite grasp it yet. The whole family is overjoyed that, through this surgery, I can enjoy life again.
I can only encourage all those affected not to give up. Go to a specialist! Only he can optimally evaluate your CD and advise you on whether and how you can be helped. My eternal gratitude goes to Prof. Dr. Dr. Feigl and his team. They have given me a new quality of life.
I underwent a minimally invasive surgery by Prof. Feigl at the Neurosurgery Department of Bamberg Hospital, meaning with a skull opening of about 2 cm behind the ear. On Friday, I had my first check-up, the wound looks good, and I have a skin plaster there, which will dissolve over time. I am reducing Carbamazepine by 100 mg weekly. Prof. Feigl is an excellent surgeon. Both I and my daughter researched on the internet and found Prof. Feigl. I immediately trusted him during the first conversation and agreed to the operation. My suffering was already significant; I could barely eat or speak. The slightest draft forced me to stay home, and even blowing my nose and applying face cream was impossible. I can still hardly believe that I can live a normal life again now. Technology helped me during this time, at least allowing me to communicate via WhatsApp. Let’s hope it stays this way.
I underwent minimally invasive surgery by Prof. Feigl in the neurosurgery department at the Bamberg Hospital, following the Jannetta procedure, and since then, I have been pain-free. What a blessing. Now to my story: About 10 years ago, I had trigeminal neuralgia. At first, I didn’t know what it was; I thought it was tooth pain. I went from one dentist to another, often visiting once a week. Procedures included fillings, root canal treatments, tooth root surgeries, Botox injections, etc., until someone finally advised me to see a neurologist. They promptly diagnosed trigeminal neuralgia and prescribed carbamazepine after a trial with Lyrica showed no success. After some time, I had reached a dosage of 1500 mg of carbamazepine. The pain decreased, and the intervals between pain episodes became longer. However, about two years later, depression set in. I felt very unwell. The pain increased, despite the high dose of carbamazepine, and the intervals shortened. Additionally, I gained about 5-10 kg. I was constantly tired and drained of energy. I could barely manage my work as a nurse. Due to depression, I was on sick leave and attended a day clinic for 8 weeks. From there, I returned to the neurologist because trigeminal pain became unbearable. By that time, I had reached the toxic limit of carbamazepine, and the neurologist prescribed another medication. However, I couldn’t tolerate it; I experienced severe trembling and sweating. Although my depression slowly improved, trigeminal neuralgia dominated my life. Constant pain attacks, often every few minutes, shooting, burning pain, and waking up in the night due to the pain. I tried acupressure to manage the pain attacks, which rarely worked. The neurologist referred me to an MRI, with the conclusion that surgery wasn’t an option, shattering another hope. Sometime later, I developed constant pain on the upper lip and in the jaw area. Swallowing was extremely painful, shaving was impossible, and brushing teeth was equally difficult. I lost 8 kg in a short time. My family and I were desperate. As neurologists couldn’t recommend a specialist for trigeminal neuralgia, we searched intensively on the internet and found Mr. Prof. Dr. Dr. Feigl, Chief Physician of the Clinic for Neurosurgery at the Bamberg Hospital. His expertise and the testimonials of those operated by him gave me hope. I contacted his office immediately and got an appointment in May. Prof. Feigl took his time during the first meeting. He reviewed my MRI and clearly identified the area that could be the trigger for TN pain. He considered a Janetta procedure promising in my case. We discussed the pros and cons, and he addressed my questions. I felt well taken care of. Finally, a glimmer of hope that this suffering could come to an end. I underwent surgery by Prof. Feigl following the Janetta procedure, and since then, I have been pain-free. The operation took 4 hours, and it was challenging to detach the vascular-nerve contacts and place Teflon patches. Still, Prof. Feigl succeeded. I am very grateful to him. The first five days after the operation were tough; I experienced severe nausea and vomiting. Additionally, I had balance issues for a week, which slowly improved. The only thing remaining 5 months after the operation is a tingling sensation at the tip of my tongue and in the right half of my face. According to Prof. Feigl, this may improve or disappear entirely. In conclusion, I would definitely undergo the operation again, as I am now pain-free and have gained a lot in terms of quality of life. Many thanks to Prof. Feigl and his team.
I suffered from unbearable, insane pain and spasms on the right side of my face. I couldn’t speak during these attacks. Despite the treatment by an oral surgeon (I had a tooth extracted, which was indeed diseased), I did not get relief from the symptoms. The same intense, insane pain persisted. The oral surgeon referred me to a neurologist, who slowly adjusted me to the appropriate medication (Carbamazepine 400 mg). While this provided some relief, the pain occurred in various situations, and I also experienced side effects from the tablets (I reached the maximum dose of 1400 mg/day).
Upon the advice of two people in our town who had undergone Trigeminal surgery 10 or 20 years ago, we searched the internet for a neurosurgeon who successfully performs this challenging surgery. We immediately found the Bruderwald Clinic in Bamberg and the legendary Prof. Dr. Dr. med. G.C. Feigl, an expert and a compassionate human being. Here, you are allowed to be a patient, and he listens to you. He took the time to inform and examine me, but despite all the MRI and CT scans, he only saw a tiny spot on the Trigeminal nerve that could not possibly cause these pains.
After presenting myself to him three times in the Neuronetz Bamberg, he suggested that while he could perform the surgery, he couldn’t guarantee what was happening in my head or whether the pain would be gone afterward. I decided to undergo the surgery. It was a tough decision, but I do not regret it. During the operation, Prof. Dr. Feigl saw that a vein was pressing on the nerve, and there was adhesive tissue around this vein, which he successfully removed.
I am supposed to continue taking the medication for a few more weeks and then gradually taper off. After a week of hospitalization, I extend my highest praise to the entire staff, whether on Ward 11 or Intensive Care, as well as the Neuronetz team. I am now starting my rehabilitation, and I will report back on how I fared after discontinuing the tablets.
I can only advise everyone: Dare to do it; it’s a tough journey, but it’s worth it.
I am free from Carbamazepine. I discontinued the tablets every 14 days, initially reducing to a quarter and later a half tablet. Since the surgery, I have been pain-free; even during and after discontinuation, I felt no pain. The withdrawal from the tablet, on the other hand, caused some problems; I complained of emotional mood swings, occasional headaches, and often experienced stomach problems such as feeling unwell with circulatory weakness.
Soon, I will have my final conversation with Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Feigl in Bamberg, to whom I really want to express my great praise and heartfelt thanks and respect.
I have been suffering from trigeminal neuralgia for about 17 years with intermittent periods. Despite an increasing dose of Carbamazepine (1200mg daily) over the past year, I have been experiencing more frequent pain attacks. All three branches are now affected in my case.
Speaking and eating were only possible with severe pain. But as every affected person knows, this is a common struggle.
I had to take action and consulted several neurologists in my Bayreuth area. None could provide any significant help or advice.
In Bayreuth Hospital, I inquired about Jannetta surgery. They suggested Cyberknife treatment due to my neuralgia having transformed into neuropathy and my existing cardiac condition.
Following this, I visited Heidelberg University Hospital, as they have an agreement with my insurance. There, they recommended surgery, citing a better success rate and lower risks and side effects.
Next, I scheduled an appointment at Erlangen University Hospital for an operation consultation. They proposed radiation therapy, specifically a LINAC-based stereotactic irradiation of the right trigeminal nerve. I was frightened and requested some time to consider.
Then, a magazine from Sozialstiftung Bamberg arrived at my doorstep with an article by Prof. Dr. Dr. Feigl about facial pain and twitching. It was a stroke of luck at the right time. I applied for a discussion via email, and 10 minutes later, I received a call with a promptly scheduled appointment.
During this personal meeting, Prof. Feigl took a considerable amount of time and suggested surgical treatment. Subsequent examinations were arranged, and the operation was scheduled.
Since the surgery, I haven’t experienced any pain attacks, and I have reduced Carbamazepine from 1200mg to 300mg. I plan to continue tapering off. I now have a life free from pain and dizziness.
I express my heartfelt thanks to Prof. Dr. Dr. Feigl and his team.
Since the mid-1980s, I have been affected by trigeminal neuralgia with interruptions, and over the years, I have experienced all the scenarios described. I don’t want to go into details about that but rather share how I was and am being helped.
First and foremost, I could only endure the long years by receiving constant treatment from a naturopathic doctor in addition to conventional medicine (initially, I took vitamin B, then exclusively Gabapentin as the most side-effect-friendly medication up to the maximum dose of 240mg, and finally, the pain reliever Tramadol was added, also up to the maximum dose; nevertheless, I still had very severe pain).
Through his neural therapy and the intake of other homeopathic remedies, I was able to lead a somewhat normal life. Therefore, I can only recommend everyone to seek additional treatment based on naturopathy from a naturopathic doctor (not a naturopath).
Over the years, I was also offered thermocoagulation or cutting of the nerve, which I rejected due to the side effects and, above all, the low chances of success. Since no naturopathic treatment helps after such an unsuccessful procedure, these treatments are not recommended to this day.
Furthermore, I was sent for magnetic resonance imaging several times in the last 10 years. However, the radiologist’s report always stated that no interfering factor could be detected, and the suffering must have another cause.
Finally, despite the aforementioned treatments, there was an increase in pain to an unbearable level with the desire to die. When it was at its worst, I was fortunate that my neurologist referred me to a neurosurgeon who had recently joined the practice. As it turned out, he was an experienced specialist in trigeminal issues.
I presented the images from the magnetic resonance imaging to this specialist, and he recognized not just one but several interfering factors. I immediately trusted him and underwent Jannetta’s surgery performed by him.
I was not aware of the very difficult surgery, and I have had no aftermath since then. I woke up after the 2.5- to 3-hour surgery with a clear mind and have not experienced any of those very painful shooting pains since. However, due to the nearly 30-year history of neuralgia, I am not symptom-free. My residual pains are not half as strong as before the surgery. My quality of life has been restored, and I enjoy life every day, even though I still take up to 1200mg of Gabapentin and occasionally a pain reliever.
I recommend that every trigeminal neuralgia patient undergoes the surgery. The earlier, the greater the chance of becoming symptom-free. Among the fellow sufferers I know who have undergone the surgery, none regret it.
My surgeon was Prof. Dr. Dr. Günther C. Feigl at the Social Foundation Bamberg in the Klinikum Bamberg. This experienced doctor also has experience with patients for whom no interfering factor is detectable in the magnetic resonance imaging.
He says that often the interfering factor can only be recognized when approaching the nerve, and he has also operated on such patients and helped them.
Dear fellow sufferers, now that it is known that pain is only caused by interfering factors on the nerve stem, all patients, even those for whom magnetic resonance imaging shows no interfering factor, should still undergo surgery.
I am 59 years old (female) and have been suffering from trigeminal neuralgia in the third branch on the right side for almost 13 years. The symptoms started approximately 1 year after getting a dental implant. The typical pains (while chewing, brushing teeth, touching the affected side of the face, etc.) worsened from year to year, and the acute phases became longer. Initially, I managed the pain with the intake of Carbamazepine. In the last 4 years, I have only taken tablets, up to 1,900 mg per day, with significant side effects and no relief from pain.
After several doctor visits and a hospital stay, which did not lead to any results, I learned about the possibility of the Jannetta procedure (Microvascular Decompression) in an online forum for affected individuals. In the forum, doctors specializing in trigeminal neuralgia were mentioned, and this is how I became aware of Professor Dr. Dr. Feigl from the Sozialstiftung Bamberg. During the first appointment in the neurosurgery clinic, Professor Dr. Dr. Feigl quickly identified the area responsible for my pain on my MRI image.
The MRI image clearly showed that the nerve was being compressed by a blood vessel. I underwent surgery, and since then, I have had no complaints, even without medication. The operation went very well for me and without complications. In the first two to three days, I had mild pain at the surgical incision (a small cut behind the ear). I left the hospital after 7 days, and after three weeks, I could resume my normal work routine.
I don’t need to tell fellow sufferers how severe and intense these nerve pains are. One doesn’t have a proper life anymore. You just function from day to day and are completely desperate. I am so grateful that Professor Dr. Dr. Feigl and his team were able to help me, and I can now lead a normal, pain-free life. I wish all those affected much courage and success.
Approximately 3 years after a Gamma Knife radiation treatment for my trigeminal nerve, it started causing issues again. Despite rapidly increasing the dosage of my two standard medications to the allowed maximum limit, there was no satisfactory improvement in the symptoms. Once again, I lived in constant fear that the unbearable pain might occur and become uncontrollable. During my last neuralgia episode, the pain attacks lasted over 6 months, even though I was taking 4 medications simultaneously, with Gabapentin at 4200 mg, exceeding the allowed maximum dosage. Even with intravenous Phenytoin, there was no improvement. Therefore, I decided to consult Professor Feigl, even though various MRIs and hospital stays for my neuralgia had never revealed vascular contact.
Professor Feigl also couldn’t definitively diagnose a vascular contact based on my MRI analysis, but he identified an area that suggested a possible contact. For my atypical trigeminal neuralgia, he estimated the success of a Jannetta surgery at a maximum of 50%. Only at my explicit request did he ultimately agree to the surgery. Without the immense trust in him and his team, I might not have accepted the associated risks. The surgery itself went smoothly, and I could leave the hospital after a week. The scar has healed well and is barely visible.
Although not clearly visible in the MRIs, there was indeed a vascular contact that was resolved. The knowledge that the cause of my trigeminal neuralgia has now been eliminated is priceless to me. I no longer get sweat drops on my forehead with every small nerve sensation out of fear. Three months after the surgery, I have significantly reduced the dosages of the two medications. I completely discontinued Lamotrigine and reduced Pregabalin by almost 70%. To mitigate the side effects of the Gamma Knife radiation (which only appeared after 3 years), I currently take 100-200 mg of it. I am very grateful to Prof. Feigl and his team and would undergo the procedure again at any time.