Migraine headache patient finds relief with cutting-edge BOTOX® treatment with Dr. Matthew Kaufman of The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction
Cheri Weiss endured headaches throughout her life, to the point where she would carry ibuprofen 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 ibuprofen 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.”