Press Release: SDGKC Treats 500th Patient Afflicted With Trigeminal Neuralgia

Contact: Lorrie Morris                                            For Immediate Release

Tel. 800-924-2662

Cell Phone: 760-445-1740




San Diego Gamma Knife Center has just treated its 500th patient diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia (or, Tic Douloureaux).  This extremely painful disorder of the facial nerve is infrequent, but the effects are devastating. Trigeminal Neuralgia originates from one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve that supply sensation to the face; and, is considered one of the most painful conditions known.  Sufferers complain of extreme electrical shock-like pains in the face.  Pain may be triggered by the slightest touch, so eating can be difficult or even impossible.

Among the surgical options for trigeminal neuralgia, Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery is the only non-invasive procedure which produces results comparable to open surgery. Gamma Knife produces an extremely focused center of radiation, fractions of an inch in size, which pinpoints the source of the pain with virtually no side effects. The treatment does not require hospital admission as patients return home just hours after treatment.  An additional benefit of Gamma Knife radiosurgery is that it avoids virtually all of the complications of invasive procedures.

Of the 500 patients treated was the mother of San Diego Gamma Knife Center’s physicist, Dr. Steven Goetsch.  Mrs. Goetsch suffered from trigeminal neuralgia for 16 years with little result from other treatments.  After Gamma Knife treatment in 1999, she spent the last 7 years of her life pain-free and off medications.  She expressed her gratitude to her son for allowing her to spend these years serving others while relieved of pain.

Diana, the sister-in-law of the Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Kenneth Ott, was unable to eat for weeks because of tic pain. She came to the Center from Nebraska for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery. She was unable to eat dinner the night before the non-invasive procedure. Her pain ended the afternoon of the procedure, and she enjoyed an excellent dinner that night (prepared by Dr. Ott) and she remains pain-free to date.

According to Dr. Ott, “Gamma Knife is valuable because it’s noninvasive. There’s no incision, no pain, no lengthy recovery, no hair loss or scarring, no general anesthesia, and a rapid return to normal activities.”

The 500 patients treated for trigeminal neuralgia during the past 15 years add to the more than 3,500 patients treated at the San Diego Gamma Knife Center for various problems, including benign and malignant brain tumors.  The Center has the most extensive radiosurgery experience for treating brain tumors in Southern California and one of the leading centers in the world for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

San Diego Gamma Knife Center was opened as a Neurosurgical Center of Excellence in 1994; and, operates as part of the Neuroscience Department of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, and Scripps Cancer Center, Stevens Division, who provide diagnosis, treatment and support for a full range of neurological disorders.  More information may be obtained by visiting the website at or calling 800-924-2662.

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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Kenneth Ott, M.D., please call Lorrie Morris at 760-445-1740 or send an email to:

There is 1 comment .

Michael Anderson

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