Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

The Columbia University Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia Center provides comprehensive diagnostic, surgical, and follow-up care for individuals suffering from glossopharyngeal and vagoglossopharyngeal neuralgia. These rare disorders affect individuals of all ages and result in a profoundly diminished quality of life. Our mission is to deliver the highest quality evidence-based treatment for individuals with glossopharyngeal and vagoglossopharyngeal neuralgia.

Columbia Neurosurgery's Facial Pain Expert, Raymond Sekula, MD explains Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

Our Approach to Care

Using cutting-edge technology, Columbia radiologists will collaborate with our neurosurgery team to determine if there are structural problems compressing the glossopharyngeal and vagoglossopharyngeal nerves. We also collaborate with an expert team of otolaryngologists to rule out other issues that may be causing your pain. 

Treatment Options

We collaborate with the world-class neurology team at the Neurologic Institute at Columbia to provide expert care for individuals with this debilitating disorder. 

Surgical Treatments

Effective treatments are available for patients with trigeminal neuralgia:

  • Microvascular Decompression Surgery - A surgical procedure that involves moving a blood vessel away from a nerve and interposing a felt cushion between the blood vessel and the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves through a small incision behind the ear.
  • Ablative - In rare cases, the glossopharyngeal nerve may be surgically interrupted to disrupt pain signals.

Our Expertise

Dr. Raymond F. Sekula, Jr. has performed more than 100 MVDS for glossopharyngeal and vagoglossopharyngeal neuralgia and continually refined the procedure so that most patients will spend just one or two nights only in the hospital without the need for the intensive care unit prior to discharge from the hospital. 

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