October 1st, 2012
April 12th, 2012
On Monday April 9, 2012, ABC-TV’s Good Morning America featured a story on migraine headache relief with specialized surgery. This treatment, including Botox and possible surgery for migraine sufferers, is offered by Dr. Matthew Kaufman of The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, which is among the handful of practices offering specialized procedures in the New Jersey/New York regional area for qualified candidates.
Read all about it, and see our video, on the practice website, http://www.advancedreconstruction.com/migraine-headaches/.
January 25th, 2012
Cheri Weiss endured headaches throughout her life, to the point where she would carry ibrupofen every day during high school. She began experiencing migraine headaches and occipital neuralgia — a medical condition characterized by intense, chronic headaches — at 21 years old, in the second year of her Physician’s Assistant program. She knew about aneurysms and assumed the worst: “I took five ibruprofen and went back to bed, assuming I was going to die.”
Weiss survived the ordeal, but realized she was in a new and escalating battle with her headaches. She continued to suffer through the migraines and occipital headaches for over a decade. Despite the support from her family and friends, they simply couldn’t fully grasp what she was going through, Weiss says: “Unless you feel that kind of pain, it’s really hard to completely understand.” This from someone who truly understands, especially since she also works in a pain management practice.
Misdiagnosed with tension headaches, Weiss was unaware of a family history of migraines stemming from the women on her father’s side of the family; a common phenomena, women suffer from migraines nearly three times more than men. At the peak of her crisis, Weiss was suffering from an average of 23-25 occipital headaches and migraines per month. Despite the crippling effects of the headaches, which can often cause dizziness, nausea, light sensitivity, and more, the nature of Weiss’s job meant that she could not afford to miss work.
After being diagnosed with migraines and occipital neuralgia, she began treatments with a typical migraine drug. She then switched to an anti-caesural drug typically used to treat migraines, but suffered from adverse side effects despite seeing moderate results in pain relief. Experimenting with acupuncture proved useful as well, but when her migraines became an almost daily occurrence in June of 2010, she sought out alternate treatments.
With her knowledge from years of work in the medical field, Weiss knew what she wanted. After receiving a few occipital nerve block treatments from a pain management physician, she decided to try Botox® to provide a more extended relief. “Botox works well, is safe, and isn’t something you have to take all the time, like medicine,” says Weiss. She specifically chose Dr. Matthew Kaufman of the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction because of her work with him in the ER, and because of his expertise in plastic surgery, specializing in head and neck. “Because I worked in the profession, I knew what I was looking for.”
Says Dr. Kaufman, ” We have been treating many migraine sufferers with BOTOX® for the last 6 years and have observed how well it can reduce or, in some cases, eliminate severe headaches. For individuals who cannot tolerate the side effects of more traditional medicines, or who have experienced severe headaches despite therapy, BOTOX® should be a consideration. Prior to treating any patient with BOTOX®, I ask that they consult with a neurologist, or headache specialist, to undergo a comprehensive headache evaluation.”
September 8th, 2011
A POTENTIAL NEW PROCEDURE FOR MIGRAINE HEADACHE RELIEF?
No doubt about it, migraine headaches can run—read ruin—someone’s life. That’s why a new procedure is getting a lot of publicity lately.
Some doctors are using plastic surgery as a way to relieve the pain associated with migraine headaches. In one study, two neurologists and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons investigated the effects of a brow lift procedure that included the removal of the migraine-triggering nerve areas. Of the 49 patients who had this procedure, 83 percent said that they were suffering from migraines half as frequently as they did before. More than half of the patients reported that their migraines had been completely eliminated.
The study appears in the August issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The surgery works like Botox <http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/guide/cosmetic-procedures-botox> injections now widely used, though not approved, for the treatment of migraines. At the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, we treat migraine suffers with Botox, as well as in some cases, a “minimally invasive procedure” – no visible scarring, which involves releasing one or more of the “trigger points” involved in the inflammatory process resulting in migraine.
According to Dr. Matthew Kaufman of The Plastic Surgery Center and The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction in Shrewsbury, NJ, “Botox has been clearly demonstrated as a potentially effective treatment for migraine headaches. It was recently FDA approved for this purpose, and for many patients, it provides headache relief when other medical therapies have failed. We perform hundreds of Botox injections per year for migraine sufferers at our practice, most of whom have found it to be amazingly successful.
“Surgical treatment for migraine headaches has been available for the last five years, and is usually reserved for patients who have previously benefited from Botox. The results of this minimally invasive procedure have been promising. In our own series of patients who have undergone migraine relief surgery, we have a 75-80% rate of success in reducing or eliminating headache symptoms.”
“A browlift procedure is a cosmetic surgery intended to elevate the brow position, and reduce the lines and furrows of the forehead. The techniques involved in a browlift do overlap with some of the same steps as those undertaken in migraine relief surgery. Therefore, it is not surprising that patients undergoing browlifts may also find some relief from migraine symptoms. Whether a browlift procedure can be touted as a treatment for migraine headaches remains to be seen.”
July 28th, 2011
Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann knows the pain of a migraine. In fact, so seriously do these headaches affect people, and their reputation is widespread, the politician had to reassure the public. This according to the Huffington Post on July 19th,
“Let me be abundantly clear – my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief,” Bachmann said in a statement issued through her campaign. She also read the prepared remarks aloud during a campaign stop in South Carolina.
The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction could likely offer Ms. Bachmann some assistance. Botox treatment for migraines, available at our practice, has proved successful enough to have gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
According to migraine treatment expert Dr. Matthew Kaufman, “We perform hundreds of therapeutic botox injections for migraine sufferers, most of whom report anywhere from moderate to significant improvement in both the frequency and intensity of their headaches. All of our patients are also under the care of a neurologist or other headache specialist to coordinate other forms of therapy.
Botox relaxes muscles around the face and neck. There is a theory that migraine headaches are caused by inflammation in the small nerves and blood vessels in different parts of the head, and so by reducing pressure around the nerves, there is less inflammation in those blood vessels, and less headaches occur.”
In addition, in selected cases, and those who have been successful with Botox, we perform minimally invasive surgical procedure for “trigger point site release.”
“Trigger point release is a procedure that permanently may reduce or relieve migraine headaches. It is basically the surgical equivalent of what botox does on a temporary basis – relieving pressure on the small nerves in the areas where the headaches occur. The surgery is minimally invasive and done on an outpatient basis.”
We have now treated between 10 and 20 patients with various types of migraine headaches, including a condition called occipital neuralgia. The vast majority of those treated have experienced some benefit, usually manifesting as a reduction in the intensity and frequency of headaches. A few patients have actually been completely cured of their headaches altogether.”
We care about pain management, and understand the desire for migraine suffers to explore relief. That’s why we employ these cutting-edge procedures when possible.