Some patients diagnosed with migraines fail to find relief through standard neurological treatments such as physical therapy and/or medication. In such instances, Dr. Skaribas may propose The Omega Procedure, a surgical solution.*
The OMEGA Procedure – Beating the Pain Signal
A theory from the 1960s actually led to the development of cutting-edge treatments such as The Omega Procedure. Mounting evidence over the years has supported the hypothesis that nerves are capable of carrying two signals at once. With Omega, a neural message of pain on its way to the brain is overtaken and canceled out by a competing message, a mild electric current from an implanted device.*
Similar to a pacemaker, the Omega battery is small and unobtrusive. Also like a pacemaker, the Omega battery is implanted under the skin, either on the chest or near the abdomen or buttocks. The device’s leads, insulated wires, run under the skin between the patient’s head and the battery—the receiver for the patient’s external remote.*
Test Run Essentials
As with a pacemaker, a trial run is standard protocol to be sure that The Omega Procedure will be an effective solution for a particular migraine patient. During the trial, the Omega’s temporary leads will be connected to an external generator usually worn on a belt. Then for the next several days, the patient needs to deliberately engage in whatever usually triggers his or her migraines such as coffee, bright lights or salty foods. This is the only way to determine how well The Omega Procedure is going to work. A migraine trial takes some courage, obviously, but it’s critical at this juncture to log each stimulus and to what extent a headache was averted while utilizing the temporary device.*
Only after Dr. Skaribas reviews this log in detail and discusses the results carefully with a patient can he make a decision whether to proceed with permanent implantation.*
The Good News
Happily, the vast majority of patients who test The Omega Procedure are successful in using the device.* At this juncture, the Omega battery pack can be permanently placed and connected to leads in whatever location most directly targets a patient’s head pain. While the battery is implanted about an inch below the skin, the leads will actually be just underneath the surface; even so, patients rarely report even being able to detect them.
Although the procedure is not significantly invasive, Dr. Skaribas often recommends an overnight stay for observation. Full recovery takes several weeks, but non-strenuous activity can usually be resumed within seven days.*
A Magic Button*
Many patients who used to fantasize about pushing a button and making their migraines disappear have that option with The Omega Procedure.* The remote allows users to turn the system on or off, and to finesse the level of electrical stimulation to meet their particular needs and preferences. As always, Dr. Skaribas and his staff will be on hand to offer advice or instruction.
Dr. Skaribas performing the OMEGA Procedure for the treatment of migraine headaches.