Great info!

Great article: I had not heard of balloon or LNIC Scalpel. Neurosurgeon Albert Rhoton Jr., whose four decades as a brain anatomist, surgeon, teacher and surgical instrument designer won him world recognition as “the father of modern microscopic neurosurgery, and treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. Non-invasive operative procedures include balloon compression, in which a soft balloon-tipped catheter is threaded into the target area, and the tiny balloon is inflated so that it squeezes part of the trigeminal nerve against the hard edge of the brain covering (the dura) and the skull. Some patients undergo stereotactic radiosurgery, in which various computerized systems such as Gamma Knife, LINAC Scalpel and Cyberknife to direct focused beams of radiation to the site where the trigeminal nerve exits the brainstem. This causes slow formation of a lesion on the nerve that disrupts the passage of pain signals to the brain.
For TN patients, who are hesitant to undergo major surgery and uncertain whether they could tolerate the facial numbness associated with nerve-destructive treatments, Rhoton said a low-risk neurosurgical procedure can be done to help them make a decision. The surgeon creates a small lesion in the trigeminal nerve distant from the brainstem, which results in facial numbness that lasts 2 to 12 months until the nerve fibers regenerate. When pain sensation returns, the patient can then decide whether facial numbness is an acceptable trade-off for striking facial pain, and whether to undergo MVD. Rhoton approaches every day’s work with the same sense of awe he expressed as a young surgeon contemplating the task of repairing an artery as tiny as the letter “o” in the word God on the penny. As a guest teacher or lecturer at neurosurgeons’ meetings around the world, he often describes the human brain as “the crown jewel of Creation with an amazing ability to see, feel and experience emotion, to conceptualize phenomena as vast as the universe more than a billion light-years across, and to conceptualize a microscopic world out of reach of our senses.”
He says his greatest career gratification stems from helping patients recover from life-threatening tumors & brain lesions, and from the pain of trigeminal neuralgia.

http://www.facingfacialpain.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=60&Itemid=66