Peled Migraine Surgery Blog

Information and knowledge about migraine relief surgery.

The Difference Between Cervicogenic Headaches and ON - Is There One?

I recently read a comment from a patient asking a very interesting question - “What is the difference between occipital neuralgia (ON) and cervicogenic headaches (CH)?”

Unfortunately the answer to this question is not a straightforward one. It has been postulated that pain in the head/neck region can be referred from problems in the bony or soft tissues of the neck, but there is still some controversy as to whether cervicogenic headache constitutes a distinct clinical entity. The upper-most cervical nerves and their branches are the most commonly cited sources of CH with the most common source being the C2/C3 levels. The actual definition of cervicogenic headaches is also not firmly established. One accepted way of defining this disorder is by its clinical characteristics. Specifically, it is a unilateral pain of variable severity that is not stabbing and radiates from posterior to anterior. It doesn’t shift from side to side, is brought on by unusual head position or neck motion and may be associated with shoulder or upper extremity pain on the same side. The biggest issue with this definition is that it overlaps with many of the characteristics of other headache disorders such as tension headaches and migraines without aura. Another way of defining CH is by demonstrating a cervical source of pain and confirming that source with a nerve block.

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Is it true that because I’ve had RFA to my occipital nerves, that I’m not a candidate for surgery?

This statement represents a common misconception. First of all, let’s define ‘RFA’ or radiofrequency ablation. Simply put, this treatment modality uses radio waves at a high frequency to ablate a structure, in this case a nerve. The term ‘ablation’ actually means to surgically remove a body part or organ, but since RFA is performed with probes through the skin (i.e. percutaneously) it essentially means to destroy the nerve. The probe tip is hopefully placed close enough to the nerve in one or more places such that when the radio waves are passed through it, the tip heats up and completely destroys the nerve which theoretically should be equivalent to surgically excising the nerve.

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Can Botox Cure My Chronic Headaches?

Can Botox Cure My Chronic Headaches?

Many potential chronic headache patients have asked if they are not surgical candidates because they have not responded to Botox® in the past. The answer is, “Not necessarily.” and the reason is because it depends on how and in what doses the Botox was used. The primary way in which Botox® is used by most neurologists and pain management physicians is based upon the PREEMPT protocol (see attached). It calls for using 155 units over 31 injection sites every three months in an effort to reduce the symptoms associated with chronic migraine headaches. There are several problems with this approach. 

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What To Look For When Choosing A Migraine Surgeon

What To Look For When Choosing A Migraine Surgeon

Dr. Ziv Peled explains how to choose a peripheral nerve surgeon, what qualifications to look for and how to decide who is the best fit for you!

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Migraine Solutions Discussed in USA Today

Dr. Ziv Peled, Peripheral Nerve and Plastic Surgeon, was recently asked to sit down and answer some questions about migraines and migraine relief.  Here is a transcript of the interview.

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Dr. Peled Named To Young Plastic Surgeons Steering Committee

Dr. Peled Named To Young Plastic Surgeons Steering Committee

Another exciting honor for Dr. Ziv Peled!

Dr. Ziv Peled was recently asked to serve on the Young Plastic Surgeons (YPS) Steering Committee of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). This Committee is comprised of several up and coming thought leaders in the field of Plastic Surgery and is in charge bringing information on the ASPS/PSF (Plastic Surgery Foundation) to residents and young plastic surgeons and to encourage their professional development through membership in the ASPS. Members also act as liaisons between plastic surgeons in the early stages of their careers and established ASPS Member Surgeons.
The YPS Steering Committee works proactively to convey information about ASPS/PSEF to residents and young plastic surgeons and encourage their professional development through membership in ASPS. Participation on this subcommittee is an opportunity for young members to become actively involved in the Society and Educational Foundation; the committee also promotes a YPS auditor program that invites young plastic surgeons to audit committees of interest.
The YPS Steering Committee also develops the programming for the Annual Meeting's Residents Day and provides input to the Practice Management Education Committee on programming for the annual Senior Residents Conference. In addition, the committee has responsibility for the Breakfast of Champions event and the Fresh Faces panel presentation during the annual meeting.

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The Road To Recovery From Migraine Pain

How long does recovery take following nerve decompression surgery for chronic headaches? The answer to that question can be quite variable and depends on a number of parameters, but a few general principles apply.

How long does recovery take following nerve decompression surgery for chronic headaches? The answer to that question can be quite variable and depends on a number of parameters, but a few general principles apply. First and foremost, each patient is different in terms of their tolerance for discomfort. What may be a 9 out of 10 pain to one person may only be a 5 out of 10 pain to another person. Secondly, the number/distribution of the nerves which are decompressed is also unique to each individual. Obviously, if someone has 8 nerves decompressed in one procedure they are likely to have more discomfort than someone who only had one nerve decompressed. Finally, surgical technique and appropriate post-operative care are also important in achieving optimal results with minimal discomfort and downtime.

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But the Botox Didn't Work On My Migraines! What Now?

But the Botox Didn't Work On My Migraines!  What Now?

One of the questions that I‘m frequently asked during consultations with patients regarding their chronic headaches is, "If I’ve had Botox injections done with other doctors in the past and they have failed, does this mean that Botox injections done with you would not work either?" This is an excellent question and the simple answer is, “No".

One of the questions that I‘m frequently asked during consultations with patients regarding their chronic headaches is, "If I’ve had Botox injections with other doctors in the past and they have failed, does this mean that Botox injections done with Dr. Peled would not work either?" This is an excellent question and the simple answer is, “No".

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How Can You Define Peripheral Nerve Surgery?

How does peripheral nerve surgery help my life, and what can it mean for my migraines?

What exactly is meant by the term, ‘peripheral nerve surgery’? Peripheral nerve surgery specifically refers to operations performed on nerves within the peripheral nervous system, in other words those nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord (aka the central nervous system). It also helps to think of these nerves as being located in the periphery of the body such as the arms and legs although it also includes nerves located in trunk and scalp/face regions. Pathology causing problems within the peripheral nervous system can take many forms. There can be pressure on a nerve as it passes through its normal route from the brain and spinal cord to its final location, for example at the toes or back of the scalp. There may be pressure on a nerve from a tumor within the nerve itself or from a tumor external to the nerve. A nerve may have been cut from a prior accident or prior surgical procedure. There can also be injuries to nerves that have been excessively stretched such as may occur following a whiplash-type of injury.

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How Can Peripheral Nerve Surgery Help My Migraines?

What do migraine headaches and peripheral nerve surgery have to do with each other?

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Ask me, ask me, ask me!

A recently published study in Health Affairs demonstrated that many patients still have significant reservations about asking their doctors questions regarding their health care.

A recently published study in Health Affairs demonstrated that many patients still have significant reservations about asking their doctors questions regarding their health care (). Many of the patients in the study stated that they feared upsetting their physicians and were scared that doing so would negatively impact their care. Moreover, many patients also apparently felt as though their physicians did not listen to or respect what they had to say. These findings are especially poignant in light of the fact that many of the patients surveyed in his study had a very high education level and an annual income greater than or equal to $100,000 per year.

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Decompression, neurolysis and ablation

Several people have had questions about what ‘neurolysis’ actually means and how it might differ from the term ‘ablation’.

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Let's go to the numbers, shall we....

I just finished reading Dr. Guyuron's article on the finances associated with migraines in its entirety.  The numbers are truly staggering.  Did you know that:

1. Medical resource use for the treatment of migraine headaches is significant, with the fourth most common emergency room complaint being headaches.
2.Patients with migraine headaches generate nearly twice as many medical claims and nearly two and a half times as many pharmacy claims when compared with patients without migraine headaches.
3. Researchers have estimated the annual direct costs of migraine treatment to be as high as $7089 per patient and the annual indirect costs to be as high as $4453 per patient.
4. AFTER TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE COST OF SURGERY (surgeon, anesthesia, facitlity fees) - the 5-year cost savings were over $11,000 per patient.
5. IN ADDITION, over 5 years, patients can expect to have 43.5 fewer doctor visits, 25 fewer alternative treatment sessions, and 40.25 fewer days missed from work!
6. OVER AND ABOVE ALL THAT, patients reported significant improvements in their overall quality of life on just about every parameter measured!

I guess none of this should be surprising, but it is rare to see numbers like this in the medical literature.  This type of treatment is truly a paradigm shift.

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A Pain in the Neck!

Over the past few months I have seen quite a number of patients who’ve told me that they believe their migraines began not long after a motor vehicle accident. Many of them said they were initially told they suffered from “whiplash” by their treating physicians. These patients tried and subsequently failed several treatment modalities such as physical therapy and muscle relaxant medications.

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The Long & Winding Road

One of the most common refrains I hear from patients is that they are flummoxed by the lack of understanding from their neurologists or neurosurgeons

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Are You Experienced?

An interesting article was published just this month in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

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Peled Migraine Surgery is Your Source For Migraine Nerve Surgery!

Peled Migraine Surgery is Your Source For Migraine Nerve Surgery!

Peled Migraine Surgery is one of the foremost organizations in migraine pain relief surgery.  The surgery is nerve based and has been proven to lessen or eliminate migraine pain.  Ziv M. Peled, MD is a Board-Certified plastic surgeon trained to perform the full spectrum of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgical procedures. He completed his medical school training at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine where he earned honors in multiple surgical disciplines. He subsequently completed four years of rigorous general surgical training at the University of Connecticut during which he also completed an additional two-year, post-doctoral Basic Science Research Fellowship at Stanford University under the tutelage of Dr. Michael T. Longaker, a pioneer in the field of scarless wound healing.

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Learn About Chronic Pain!

My name is Dr Ziv Peled. Welcome to the home page for my practice, Peled Migraine Surgery.: I live in San Francisco, CA and work as an Plastic Surgeon at Peled Migraine Surgery.

Chronic pain is pain that continues a month or more beyond the usual recovery period for an injury or illness or that goes on for months or years due to a chronic condition. The pain is usually not constant but can interfere with daily life at all levels. per the American Chronic Pain Association.

 

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