Visitor Question

Brain surgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia results in major pain…

Submitted By: Rhonda (Des Moines, IA, USA)

I had brain surgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia in Oct. of 2011 at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Following the surgery, my right face is completely numb and my right eye has no corneal reflex.

I also have severe pain upon moving my right eye horizontally and vertically.

I also have severe incapacitating headaches, and I grind and clench my teeth on the right side. This started when I awoke from surgery. I’ve never ever ground my teeth before. I’ve already lost one tooth and several more are affected. All along, I still have the shooting TN pain through out my face.

My neurologist still tries different medications to ease my pain, with no luck. I can not stand the pain, I can not stand my face, I have felt like I want it off.

After the surgery I started seeing an Ophthalmologist in Nov. 2011, every few months. He sent me to Univ. of Iowa in the summer of 2012 and I saw an Optho-Neurologist. I really wanted help with my eye. If not, I literally wanted my eye gone. He could not help me, but said it’s because of the TN.

I pressed on until Dec. when I saw an article about a new surgeon that was in Des Moines, and who had studied under one of the best TN Surgeons in the country. My Neurologist sent me to see him.

My husband and I made the trip up to Mayo Rochester, MN. A fine MRI was preformed. Then I saw the MD in the afternoon. He said, “I’m so sorry Rhonda, you’ve had a stroke in the Trigeminal nerve.” He explained that some blood vessels had bridged into the Trigeminal nerve, and when they removed the blood vessels, I’d had a stroke the entire length of the nerve.

He showed us the MRI pictures, where the nerve was completely ruined. My husband remembers him saying about “nicking a nerve.”

I was in too much shock to remember it all. But I do remember like a recording in my head, he said, “no more surgery could be performed on the nerve, it’s totally ruined.”

Then a bit later they brought in a pain management team and they talked about implanting a deep brain cortex stimulator. They even set up the 1st process in March for me to see a Psychiatrist. Before we left to come home, the doctor said he was so sorry, and we would not be charged for anything that day.

Well, I cried and shook all the home to Des Moines (3+Hrs) and my husband pleaded with me to “not to have the surgery”. We both were pretty shook up. Do I have grounds for Surgical Malpractice? Or is it too late?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Rhonda,

Your case is quite complex. The set of circumstances you present involves very complex medical issues which must be reviewed independently before a reasonable assessment can be made regarding the issue of medical malpractice.

Gather copies of all your medical records, medical bills, test result, x-rays, CT Scans, MRIs, and all other documentation related to your medical issues.

Next, look for personal injury attorneys in your area who specialize in medical malpractice. Often these attorneys will list on their websites the types of cases they’ve handled and results they’ve obtained for their clients.

Fortunately, most personal injury med mal attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Moreover, if you find an attorney who will accept your case, you will not have to pay any fees at all unless, and until the attorney prevails by either settling your case or winning it at trial.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 12, 2015

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