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Face pain
Jan 17, 2000

Hello Dr. Currier,

Two or three years ago when my partner was very sick and weak after bouts of PCP, MAC and CMV he developed severe pain under his right eye and upper cheek area. He has been taking morphine ever since which disturbs us both and still barely controls the pain. Over a year ago the local nuerologist performed an operation he called decompression of the 5th cranial nerve. It was a traumatic procedure and only increased the level of pain.

Just last week the same Dr. did a procedure to destroy part of the trigeminal nerve by inserting a probe under the cheek and electrifying the nerve. Unfortunately he zapped the wrong nerve and now Jeff's jaw, teeth and tongue are numb while his upper face pain continues unabated. The numbness is so bad that he has bitten his tongue to the point of bleeding while eating.

Have you ever encountered other patients with this upper face pain (one side only) and what do you suggest be done at this point?

In all other regards he has made a stunning recovery from 3 years ago with low viral load and CD4 of 340 (up from 6).

Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

I have not seen a similar problem. Has he been evaluated to make sure that he doesn't have chronic sinusitis, which could cause pain in that area? If he does not have sinusitis, then I suggest you locate a Pain Center where experts in pain management may be able to help him.


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