Our journey to the cave – adventures by balloon

Peter Bodkin* (Corresponding Author), Asha Venkatesh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

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We describe the collaboration of clinicians and anatomists to validate a novel approach in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

Balloon rhizolysis of the trigeminal ganglion is an established procedure whereby a needle is passed into the foramen ovale (FO), a Fogarty balloon is fed into Meckel's cave (MC), and the ganglion is compressed by inflating the balloon. Placement of the balloon is routinely guided by anatomical landmarks and X‐ray. The gold standard is to achieve a pear‐shaped outline of the balloon in MC. Placement, however, can prove difficult and may even result in inadvertent damage to surrounding structures such as the carotid artery, temporal lobe, cavernous sinus, and adjacent cranial nerves.

We investigated electromagnetic neuronavigation to provide improved 3D guidance for balloon rhizolysis using cadaveric specimens. The bulk of the work was done by Biomedical Science undergraduates as part of their Honours project (Megan Lonie, Iona Pimentil, Vlad Iliescu, Edward Bader, Neerjhor Pervez).

Ethical statement: All cadaveric material was donated to the University of Aberdeen in accordance with the Anatomy Act 1984 and the Anatomy Act 1984 [as amended by the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJournal of Anatomy
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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