Teflon versus Ivalon in Microvascular Decompression for Trigeminal Neuralgia: A 2-Center 10-Year Comparison

Elliot Pressman, Hirotaka Hasegawa, Jeffrey Farooq, Salomon Cohen-Cohen, Mohammad Hassan A. Noureldine, Jay I. Kumar, Liwei Chen, Rahul Mhaskar, Harry van Loveren, Jamie J. Van Gompel, Siviero Agazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Trigeminal neuralgia features jolts of pain along the distribution of the trigeminal nerve. If patients fail conservative management, microvascular decompression (MVD) is typically the next step in treatment. MVD consists of implanting a separating material, often Teflon, between the nerve and compressive lesions. A review found similar success and complication rates between Teflon and Ivalon, another commonly used material. The aim of this study was to analyze outcomes and complications associated with Teflon and Ivalon in MVD. Methods: We conducted a 2-center retrospective cohort study of trigeminal neuralgia treated with MVD between 2005 and 2019. Patients with no postoperative follow-up were excluded. Postoperative pain was graded using the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain intensity score. Relapse was defined as a BNI score of 4–5 during follow-up after initial pain improvement or an initial BNI score of 1–3. Results: The study included 221 MVD procedures in 219 patients. Ivalon was implanted in 121 procedures, and Teflon was implanted in 100 procedures. Multivariate analysis found that implant type had no effect on final BNI score (P = 0.305). Relapse rates were similar at 5- and 10-year follow-up (5-year: Ivalon 10.7%, Teflon 18.0%, P = 0.112; 10-year: Ivalon 11.6%, Teflon 19.0%, P = 0.123). There was no difference in postoperative immediate facial numbness (P = 0.125). Postoperative hearing difficulty was higher in the Ivalon cohort (8.4% vs. 1.0%; P = 0.016). Conclusions: We found no significant difference in final BNI score or risk of relapse between Ivalon and Teflon. Complications were similar, although Ivalon was more associated with temporary postoperative hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e822-e828
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Ivalon
  • Microvascular decompression
  • Polytetrafluoroethene
  • Polyvinyl acetal
  • Teflon
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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