Reporting Adrienne Bankert
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - There is new hope for those who suffer from migraines. A new procedure could help to reduce your pain. Its effects are being called life-changing.
“I started taking medication for them when I was 12 years old,” explained Kim Rutherford about her migraines. “And when I got older, they started to progress.” The breaking point, she said, was when she started having a severe headache every single day, all day, for eight months straight. “I had really exhausted all the typical treatments, even the alternative treatments,” Rutherford said. “I had tried accupuncture, massage, Chinese medicine, diets.”
Then, Rutherford discovered the Reed procedure. “The best way I can describe it is champagne bubbles all throughout,” she said, “for a nice, calm, cooling massage.”
“The wires stimulate the nerves, and what the patient feels is a very mild tingling sensation,” explained Dr. Ken Reed, medical director and founder of the Reed Migraine Center. He implants a neurostimulator into the backs and heads of patients with a few small incisions. The results, he said, are dramatic. “It’s a new application of technology that’s been around quite a while. This implantable device has been, and is, used around the world.”
The procedure lasts about an hour. Patients can return to normal activity within a few days.
The stimulator itself can last 10 years. During that time — no more pills, no more doctors. With the push of a button, the device turns on and relief comes with few to no side effects. “It doesn’t hinder me,” said Rutherford. “There’s nothing I can’t do that I couldn’t do before. In fact, I can do more better now that I am not hurting and in a dark room.”
However, Dr. Reed is quick to point out that migraine sufferers should first try more conservative, traditional approaches to pain relief. Implanting a neurostimulator should be a last resort.
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