Migraine Help Through New Procedure



Though there are still many questions as to the causes of migraines, there are more answers regarding treatment than ever before.  There are more medications available and more of them have a variety of properties that do everything from relaxing people and acting as tranquilizers to other medications that directly work on the headaches themselves.

There are also treatments that range from acupuncture to surgery, and now there is a new medical procedure that is being studied in trials.  The procedure created by the St. Jude medical technology company and being tested at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Michigan has provided substantial relief to a handful of migraine sufferers.

The instrument used in the procedure is called a PFO Closure System Device.  The way it works is that doctors use the device to close a very small tunnel that sits between the left and right heart chambers.  This procedure had been used by two cardiologists at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital to help prevent strokes in some patients.  When people have small strokes, cardiologists state that part of the cause is that blood clots are bubbled from one side of the heart to the other without being filtered through the lungs before traveling to the brain.  Closing the tunnel through surgery would eliminate this and hopefully eliminate the possibilities of a large or massive stroke.

 The first patient to participate in the trial and undergo the procedure for migraines saw significant improvement immediately.  In a period of time during which she would have had about 30 debilitating migraines, the number of migraines she experienced was only 4.  Before the procedure, she would be so debilitated by the migraines that she worked for only as many hours as she could stand, then go home and knock herself out with medication to overcome the migraine.  She would get up the next day and repeat the procedure.  She does not have to do this any more.

Because of the trial procedure, the first patient in the trial says that she is enjoying life, doing well at work, and even getting a chance to relax because she is not worried about when the next migraine is coming and how bad it will be.

This is good news for migraine sufferers and for the medical professionals trying to help them.  It offers great hope for bringing relief in the near future.


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