About This Program

Overview

The multidisciplinary Facial Pain Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital is a highly specialized, care team dedicated to treating patients with trigeminal neuralgia and other facial pain disorders. Our program is a collaborative effort between theDepartment of Neurology, theDepartment of Neurosurgery, theDepartment of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeryand theDepartment of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine. Our specialists meet regularly as a team to develop a compassionate and individualized plan of care with pharmacological, interventional, neurosurgical and psychological recommendations tailored to the needs of each of our patients.

The most common facial pain diagnoses referred to our clinic may include:
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Trigeminal Neuropathy
  • Atypical Facial Pain
  • Post-herpetic Neuralgia
  • Atypical Odontogenic Pain
  • Jaw Pain
  • Temporomandibular Disorders
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome

What to Expect

If you would like to be seen in our clinic, you would request a referral with medical records from your primary care physician, neurologist, neurosurgeon or dentist. Once your referral is received, our patient care coordinator will contact you promptly for new patient orientation and may request additional medical records including imaging, such as MRI of the brain on a CD for our review.

Next, our team of experts will review all available medical records and imaging studies and make a team-based recommendation. You may be recommended to see our neurologist, neurosurgeon, orofacial pain specialist, pain physician, or pain psychologist as part of your treatment plan. Our patient care coordinator will help to coordinate your appointments. We offer both in-person and virtual appointments. Our team of experts will meet regularly to review your treatment progress.

As a patient in our multidisciplinary Facial Pain Clinic, you may expect to receive medical treatment with medication management from our neurologists or orofacial pain specialists, surgical procedures from our neurosurgeon or oral surgeon, interventional treatment from our pain physician.

  • Our pain psychologist will assess impact of pain on your quality of life and assist in developing behavioral strategies for pain-coping as well as anxiety and depression management
  • Our neurologists and orofacial pain clinicians are specialized in performing peripheral nerve blocks and Botox injections
  • Our pain physician performs trigeminal nerve blocks, among other facial pain procedures
  • Our neurosurgeon offers surgeries for trigeminal neuralgia including microvascular decompression, balloon compression rhizotomy and stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Our oral surgeon offers temporomandibular (TMJ) surgery
We believe that a team-based approach, with a comprehensive care plan, is the best way to manage your facial pain.  We value your patient experience.

If you are interested in a second opinion, or do not currently have access to care for your facial pain, please contact us for a list of the information we need to assist you.  Please note that our clinicians do not prescribe chronic opioid medications. Our goal is helping our patients to restore function and achieve pain control; therefore we do not make recommendations for short- or long-term disability.

For Health Care Providers

For health care provides who are interested in referring their patients, a faxed referral can be sent to 617-726-2424. If you are referring a patient for management for trigeminal neuralgia, a recent MRI of the brain with trigeminal protocol is recommended. If you have any questions regarding a referral, please call 617-726-6245. Our nurse practitioner will help to answer your questions.

Research

At themultidisciplinary Facial Pain Clinic, our faculty and staff are leaders in innovative and collaborative research to understand the causes of facial pain, targets for treatments and clinical trials. Our patients have opportunities to participate in clinical trials. We provide expert guidance to provide our patients the most appropriate clinical research options.

Our Faculty

Thomas Cheng, MD, PhD

Thomas Cheng, MD, PhD

Department of Neurology


Jeffrey Schweitzer, MD, PhD

Jeffrey Schweitzer, MD, PhD

Department of Neurosurgery


Jeffrey Shaefer, DMD, DDS

Jeffrey Shaefer, DDS, MS, MPH

Department of Surgery, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Orofacial Pain Service


Shruti Handa, DMD

Shruti Handa, DMD

Department of Surgery, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Orofacial Pain Service


Joseph McCain, DMD

Joseph McCain, DMD

Department of Surgery, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, TMJ Surgery and Minimally Invasive TMJ Endoscopy


Maximillian Hsia-Kiung, MD

Maximillian Hsia-Kiung, MD

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine


Ronald J. Kulich, PhD

Ronald J. Kulich, PhD

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine


Jay Loeffler, MD

Jay Loeffler, MD

Department of Radiation Oncology


Jennifer Cheng, CNP

Clinical Program Lead, Multidisciplinary Facial Pain Clinic

Jennifer Cheng, CNP is a pain fellowship trained and certified nurse practitioner with an extensive background in both inpatient and outpatient headache and facial pain treatment. She has a clinical practice with the Department of Neurology Headache and Neuropathic Pain Unit.