Miracle for Migraines: Technology implanted into head eases pain

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by Sybil Hoffman

azfamily.com

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 28 at 9:04 AM

PHOENIX -- It won’t make you look like Frankenstein, but it could give you power like the bionic woman. There is new technology that’s implanted into your body that promises to take away migraines.

Cassi Sullivan has been suffering from migraines for more than ten years.

"There are times when it feels like there is a knife stuck in my head and other times it feels like someone is doing this to my brain, just crushing it and squeezing it," she explained.

Ever since high school, Sullivan’s migraines have gone from excruciating to downright debilitating.

“I have to make sure I have a specific purse just to carry medications in," she said.

Everything from light, smells, even the weather can trigger unbearable pain for Sullivan.

"Certain storm systems will come in, like if it becomes stormy, overcast and then especially with rain, I will get a bad migraine," Sullivan noted.

"There are more than 10 million patients in this country who have migraine headaches," said Dr. Abram Burgher.

Dr. Burgher is an interventional pain specialist with the Pain Center of Arizona.

"This is a therapy until a few years ago that just wasn't available," Dr. Burgher stated.

That therapy created through the Migraine Treatment Centers of America is called the Omega Procedure. It’s a device that is literally implanted into your head.

Dr. Brugher said it’s similar to a pacemaker except, "Instead of conducting electricity to the heart, it conducts electricity to the nerves and stimulates nerves and in so doing, it reduces pain associated with those nerve areas."

Not only that, Dr. Burgher points out, "You have a remote that allows you to turn it on and turn it off."

Sullivan told us, "That's what a lot of people have said, you'll be the bionic woman and I said, I don't care, I'll have my life back."

Sullivan is one of the first in Arizona to test the technology.

"I had no migraine pain at all. No headaches at all," she said.

Dr. Burgher is the only physician in Arizona offering patients who suffer from migraines this latest technology.

"It's fun for physicians who like to be breaking new ground to be on the cutting edge of things and to be able to study this right at the forefront," he said.

Sullivan’s test run made her a believer.

"Cut me open, shave my hair, so be it. I finally got relief so now I want the actual surgery as soon as I can get it," she proclaimed.

Sullivan is scheduled to have surgery in July.
 

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