East Northport Resident Finally Pain Free after Surgery Performed at Huntington Hospital
Director, Public Affairs
North Shore-LIJ Health System
A Huntington Hospital neurosurgeon ended more than 20 years of suffering for an East Northport man by performing microvascular decompression (MVD), a surgical procedure to relieve pain symptoms caused by compression of the nerve by an artery or vein, the North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today. Roger Borg is finally pain free thanks to surgery performed by Robert G. Kerr, MD, PhD, attending neurosurgeon at Huntington Hospital. Mr. Borg lived every day with constant aching pain in his head and face and knew that at any moment, he could experience a severe jolt of additional pain that feels like something between an electric shock and a searing burn.
Starting in his early 20s, Mr. Borg experienced brief, severe stabbing pain on the right side of his head, which he shrugged off. Things continued to worsen and he was taking medication to relieve his symptoms. A 2002 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test did not detect anything abnormal. In July 2013, the stabbing pain became more constant, making it difficult for Mr. Borg to perform his job as an operating engineer at LaGuardia Airport.
Mr. Borg sought medical attention from a number of physicians, including dentists and neurologists, but was not given a proper diagnosis until he met with Shalini Patcha, MD, Huntington’s attending neurologist. Dr. Patcha diagnosed Mr. Borg with trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that is characterized by intermittent, shooting pain that usually occurs on one side of the face.
“Trigeminal neuralgia affects the trigeminal nerve, one of the largest nerves in the head,” said Dr. Patcha. “The trigeminal nerve sends impulses of touch, pain, pressure, and temperature to the brain from the face, jaw, gums, forehead, and around the eyes. In Mr. Borg’s case, we first tried treating him with appropriate medication. While that initially helped alleviate symptoms, the positive effect wore off over time. We then considered him to be a good candidate for surgery.”
“There’s no more sharp, stabbing pain and I am currently off medications that I had taken for years,” Mr. Borg said. “I feel that this experience had a real positive effect on my life. I can finally go about my daily activities without worrying about pain and as such, I am able to do my job and certainly look forward to returning in June.”
About Huntington Hospital
Established in 1916, Huntington Hospital is a full-service, 408-bed nonprofit hospital serving Huntington Township and surrounding communities. A member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, Huntington Hospital provides a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and specialized healthcare services, and strives to improve the health and quality of life for the people and communities it serves by providing world-class service and patient-centered care. Visit www.hunthosp.org.