Glossary

Balloon compression A percutaneous (requiring a needle inserted through the skin of the cheek) neurosurgical procedure carried out at the Gasserian ganglion and/or pre-ganglionic nerve route. The procedure involves using a balloon to press the nerve against bony tissue which causes mechanical nerve destruction (partial nerve damage), and is designed to stop the transmission of pain signals to the brain by selectively damaging the small unmyelinated and small myelinated pain fibres of the trigeminal nerve while ideally sparing the rest of the nerve fibres. This minimally invasive procedure is also known as microcompression.