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Surgical Options

Implant

  • By illinois247

    I am getting ready to have a implant put in to possible stop my migraines. I have had them for 4 years and everything has stopped working. I will post after surgery and give results of condition.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    illinois247 – Can you tell us a little about your expected surgery? I am assuming you’re talking about a stim device, but there are multiple options. What preventives have you tried in the past that were helpful to you – – or not?

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  • By illinois247

    Just got my temporary Omega Stim implant put in yesterday at Nashville TN. Right after they turned it on it started to get rid of the migraine behind my right eye. They adjusted it and got rid of the one that was in the back of my head. Since it works they will schedule me for the permanent one! YEAH

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  • By Chris Hicks

    Meds have not worked. Botox has not brought about enough relief. The inpatient program referral is my neurologist’s last stab. I am slated to enter that program at the end of this week.

    I am hopeful that the inpatient program will be helpful. I am, however, researching other options. The more options, the easier it is to keep hope alive. And keeping hope alive is vital, critical to moving through and beyond!

    I seem to have landed on implanted neurostimulators (thinking supraorbital and occipital… most of my migraines start in the temple areas on either side). I have been corresponding with Dr. Chapman’s team in Texas (The Transforma Procedure). Theirs is a 4 lead implant with leads over the left and right occipital and supraorbital nerves. They are, of course, speaking the praises of the procedure. I am (have learned to be) cautious. I will spend time researching and vetting before I would proceed down that path. And it might be nice to find something closer than Texas (I live in Michigan).

    As I contemplate the idea of an implant I am very curious to hear the experiences of anyone who has gone this route. Where did you have the procedure done, how long ago, did it work, what percentage decrease did you experience, over time has the implan continued to work effectively…

    Lots of questions.

    I would love to hear from others on this!!!

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Hey Chris,

    I was offered a stim, but chose not to do it. I felt that we hadn’t really ruled out some serious things that were important – in my situation – to rule out. Thankfully when I did push my neuro, we actually ended up finding some health problems that would have been missed had I gone for the stim. I am happy with my decision so far.

    That said, I admit I have considered a stim procedure myself as things are getting difficult for me. On one hand, the botox has helped with severity, but my frequency is crazy high right now, and combined with my other health issues, I feel very out of control and constantly battling severe pain that nobody seems to be able to help with unless I consider surgery.

    In conference, the subject does come up. Specialists seem most concerned that for a lot of patients, stims of any kind do not work for a long time. The body adapts and eventually the benefits are lost. For a patient who has taken this last ditch effort to get better, a failure like this can be overwhelming, and many are afraid it could lead to serious depression… or worse. There just isn’t enough information for most specialists to suggest it to their patients at this point.

    As far as stims go, IF I was to choose one, I would only consider the occipital/supraorbital combo as the data appeals to me more than the occipital alone.

    Have you tried nerve blocks yet to see if these might be a viable option for you?

    I guess I would just urge you to keep your mind and options open. Stims are not without their own significant problems. I understand lead migration is less of a problem than it was in earlier models, but depending on your lifestyle, it may still be an issue. I have friends with other stims that have trouble with them shutting off at inopportune times and issues like that. Of course there are the obligatory battery changes too.

    Take your time. The one with the most to lose gets to choose – and that means you, the patient. Just be smart about it 🙂

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  • By Chris Hicks

    Ellen,

    Thanks for the response. I continue to research this as a possible future option.

    I have tried occipital and supraorbital nerve blocks with minimal relief. This may be an indication that the neurostim implant may not be effective for me. I just do not know. The inpatient program I am about to enter may be an opportunity to try the nerve blocks again. Ideally I would love to simply not need to conduct any further research into neurostim because the inpatient program has been successful.

    Until I reach a point where I think I no longer need another option I will continue to research. There are obviously a lot of points to consider and aspects to think about. I intend to do lots of homework around this.

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  • By Leah

    I am curious to hear how people are doing farther out from the implants? I’ve exhausted all preventives (meds and Botox) and am now looking for surgical options. Cleveland clinic has a new stimulator they are working on FDA approval for which will be remote control operated. Has anyone learned/heard more?
    Thanks!!

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  • By Leah

    What did your inpatient program consist of? And may I ask where it was? How long did the benefits of the program last?
    Thanks!

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  • By Chris Hicks

    Hello,

    I ended up not doing the inpatient program because my insurance would not approve/cover it. The program was in Chelsea Michigan and is run by Dr. Joel Saper. I did, however, end up going through a four day outpatient IV infusion program at the same hospital. This is Dr. Saper’s program as well.

    The IV infusion program consists of two “rounds” of IV’s, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each round consists of several medications. DHE was a big one and so was Toradol.

    I can tell you that it has been nearly a month since I finished that program and my migraines, although still with me every day, have dropped from at or near the top of the pain scale every day to somewhere near or under the middle.

    I would love to get these things to a point where they are not a daily occurrence. For now, I am thankful for the relief from the intensity. I go for an outpatient visit with a neurologist from Dr. Saper’s outpatient clinic, Michigan Head Pain and Neurological Institute, at the end of next week. I suspect there will be some medicaiton adjustments.

    I am also continuing with Botox injections. My next round, fourth round, is in the middle of November. I am very hopeful that, between the IV program, different preventative medication (methergine… tried years ago, but seems to be working this time), and continued Botox I will get these migraines to back off even further!

    Take Care,
    Chris

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