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 30th, 2012
“There are days when my headache is so horrible, my vision is impaired, everything is blurry, I feel nauseous like I am going to throw up, and nothing seems to matter. It becomes a waiting game and I don’t know how long it is going to last,” says Schulpheiz, 46, of Middletown, New Jersey.
Schulpheiz began experiencing headaches within the last ten years when other medical issues arose. At first she accepted the headaches as part of her condition and began taking ibuprofen almost daily. Years went by before her neurologist diagnosed her with cluster migraines–a neurological disease that entails a massive amount of pain to the head.
The headaches interfered with her daily life. According to Schulpheiz, a previous executive, work wasn’t even an option. She began postponing deadlines and appointments. She moved from Manhattan to New Jersey, where she currently resides, with a great support system of friends and family.
In 2006, Schulpheiz was treated for migraines with Botox® in New York. At the time, the procedure was controversial (pre FDA approval), and after two treatments she stopped and began oral medication. Initially, the oral medication proved to be very helpful, but after two years of taking it she started to experience adverse side effects.
Schulpheiz claims, “If you looked at me you could see that I was in pain. I had such a headache that I would look mad because my face was so scrunched up.” Her neurologist finally recommended Botox injections with New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Kaufman. This time she was confident. She received her first Botox injection in April of 2010 and then again in July. Following a break in treatments due to problems with her insurance company, she has resumed the Botox injections.
Many ponder, says Schulpheiz, why put Botox into your system? According to Schulpheiz, “Other medications have basically all had the side effects. Dr. Kaufman injected me exactly where the pain is and it goes right to the area that needs treatment, versus the oral medicine, that travels throughout my body and gets into my bloodstream.” She even described how she felt immediate relaxation to her “scrunched up” face following the Botox injections.
Dr. Kaufman assures Faith that if she received relief after minor treatment, one day she could have more a more permanent improvement. “I know I have other medical issues but if I can have relief in one area of my life, why not?”
According to Dr. Kaufman, “Faith has been suffering with migraines for many years and had trouble finding a successful treatment. She has responded extremely well to Botox therapy, and it has allowed her to regain a more normal and functional life. We anticipate continuing Botox therapy for the next few months, and will consider offering her the nerve decompression surgery that we sometimes perform in patients who have responded well to Botox therapy. The surgery is essentially the “surgical equivalent” of what Botox does on a temporary basis. Therefore, the surgery has the potential to provide a more permanent reduction, or possibly even elimination, of migraine headaches. Of course, not everyone will benefit from migraine surgery, so it is important to speak with a surgeon who is skilled and experienced in this surgical technique.”
For more information on migraine relief, log onto The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction’s Migraine Headache Treatment page.
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.”
January 16th, 2012
I was reviewing migraine statistics on the Internet and was amazed to read that there are over 300 million people worldwide classified as migraneurs – people suffering from migraine headaches. In the Unites States alone, migraines impact 12% of the population, or roughly 4 million people. That is a tremendous number of people suffering through their daily lives with intolerable headaches. People with chronic migraines are dealing with headaches more than 14 days out of every month. I could imagine how a migraine, added to all of life’s other daily challenges, makes it virtually impossible to function at work and at home.
Despite the availability of excellent medical therapies to treat migraines, many individuals just cannot seem to find sufficient relief, even with these medications. Other people may experience some improvement, but cannot tolerate the side effects of the medications.
Botox® therapy for migraine headaches has been around for several years and has more recently become approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a migraine treatment. The FDA promotes the use of Botox® as an effective way to prevent migraine headaches.
When I began treating migraine sufferers with Botox® six years ago, there was a great deal of skepticism regarding its true benefits. Naysayers speculated that patients were coming in to get their wrinkles eliminated under the guise of a migraine treatment. It did not take long for these sentiments to change when migrainepatients in my practice, and others being treated around the country, were noticing often dramatic relief from these periodic injections.
Fast forward six years later – now we promote Botox® as a very effective treatment for many patients. Those patients that benefit from injections report they now can get through their day, being productive at work, taking care of family duties, and even resuming an exercise regimen, things that were not possible prior.
Botox® therapy for migraines is best performed every three months as a series of injections into suspected migraine “trigger points”. I find that patients notice the most significant improvements over successive treatments and that is why I do not deter patients from getting follow-up injections even if the first or second sessions do not result in much change. The injections are relatively painless and can be performed with minimal concern for pronounced bruising or swelling.
Obviously, not every migraine sufferer will benefit from this form of therapy, however it may be worth investigating Botox® therapy for migraines if you, or someone you know is suffering the chronic effects of this common, debilitating condition.
Matthew R. Kaufman, MD FACS