About This Program

Overview

The Facial Pain Clinical at Massachusetts General Hospital takes a multidisciplinary team approach to treating trigeminal neuralgia and related facial pain disorders. Our program is a collaborative effort consisting of the Department of Neurology, the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery 

In addition, with cases that have psychological effects, we consult with Department of Psychiatry.

By integrating our resources we treat all aspects of the patient's conditions. 

Treatment Tailored to Patient Needs

Our approach depends on many factors, including the patient's:

  • Age
  • Severity of symptoms
  • Co-occurring conditions
  • Preference for surgical and/or pharmacological treatments

Every plan begins with education on topics such as pain management and impact on everyday activities.

For many patients, symptoms can be managed through surgery or with pharmacological treatments. When medications are necessary, we maximize effectiveness and safety through carefully with prescribing and monitoring practices.

Additionally, we tailor ongoing treatment to each patient's needs to provide better quality care. Some patients visit us monthly, while others come once a year. Some patients rely on us for all treatment for trigeminal nerve pain; for others, we consult with their local primary care doctor, psychiatrist or neurologist. In all cases, our goal is to improve quality of life through successful symptom management. 

What to Expect

If you are a new patient, you must receive a referral from your primary care physician, neurosurgeon, neurologist or oral surgeon before scheduling a consultation with our clinic. Prior to your first visit, we will send you a packet of information to complete and return to us.

Please send copies of all previous assessments and imaging results (e.g. neurological, neurosurgical, oral surgical). We will review this information in advance to ensure we have time to address your specific issues during your one-hour consultation.

At your first visit, you will undergo a thorough medical, developmental and family evaluation. Included is a comprehensive assessment of trigeminal neuralgic and other facial pain symptoms along with screening for common co-occurring conditions.

Often, we can make a diagnosis and generate a comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment plan on the first visit or soon thereafter. We collaborate with Mass General psychiatrists, psychologists and neuropsychologists in this effort.

Comprehensive Care

The Facial Pain Clinic is dedicated to providing the best care possible. We see nearly100 new cases each year, including patients who are referred due to the complexity of their cases.

People with trigeminal neuralgia and related facial pain disorders may experience symptoms ranging from mild dull achy pain to debilitating shooting pain that markedly interfere with functioning and quality of life. We excel in managing care for patients no matter where they fall across this spectrum of symptom severity.

It is important to understand that trigeminal neuralgia overlaps within neurosurgery, neurology and oral & maxillofacial surgery. As a result, patients often receive care from one specialty or the other—but not the coordinated care they need.

Our clinic bridges this gap by taking a comprehensive approach to diagnosing, treating and supporting patients.