September 19, 2019
Excellent Safety Record of Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Headache Treatment

Excellent Safety Record of Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Headache Treatment

Neurostimulation has been in use for a long
period of time, a very standard, well-accepted treatment that involves a very small or relatively
small, little battery under the skin. To repeat, you really can see anything. It doesn’t limit
you. The patient can’t even feel that it’s there, but what it is doing, in a very safe
fashion, is stopping their headaches. The process of putting in an implanted stimulator
is really a two-step process. The first step is a test, or a trial, stimulator to see if
it works. The thing to emphasize about the trial is that it is very simple. While we
take all medical procedures very seriously, including this, it’s hard to get much simpler
than a tiny little IV tube that’s coming under the skin.
The thing that we look at with any treatment is the pro and con. What good can a treatment
do versus what’s the downside? The upside of this, of a temporary stimulator, is very
clear. The pro is, if it works, the patient will be very happy. Their headaches have finally
been taken care of. What’s the down side, physical downside? None.
Minimal. This cannot make headaches worse. It can’t hurt the nerves. There’s just no
physical downside. The only downside to this, if it didn’t work, if they were in the 20%
of patients that didn’t work, they’re disappointed. Again, no other downside, so circle back once
again, the beauty of the stimulator is this ability to test that with a very simple, safe,
painless test that lets them know for sure whether the permanent unit is going to work.

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