Robert Unsell, MD Provides Breakthrough Migraine Relief

Breakthrough Headache Relief

Millions of people suffer from painful chronic headache conditions all over the United States, and they don’t seem to be getting better. Managing pain is a chore for many headache patients, who often feel discouraged and exhausted by a lack of day-to-day pain relief.

Statistics

Around 45 million American men and women suffer from chronic headache disorders.

  • 6–8% of men suffer from chronic headaches
  • 15–18% of women suffer from chronic headaches
  • Almost 5% of all adults experience headaches every day or almost every day

Over 3 million Americans have resorted to emergency services to treat severe headaches at least once.

Conventional Headache Relief…IT’S NOT WORKING

Here’s another discouraging statistic: Over 60% of patients have given up on their prescription medications. Conventional chronic headache prescriptions such as topiramate and triptan can often go well over $500 every month. For such expensive treatment, the numerous uncomfortable accompanying side effects as well as an overall absence of pain relief mean that the majority of patients need something better.

The SphenoCath® procedure differs from conventional headache prescription medications, because we treat the pain right at its source with a quick, relatively painless and minimally invasive SPG blocking technique.

SPG BLOCKS – The Sphenopalatine Ganglion

The sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) is a collection of neurons inside the head. It is located outside of the brain, but is exposed to the outside environment due to its connection to the nasal mucosa. The SPG is connected to a number of different pain associated issues in the head, including migraine and cluster headaches, as well as headaches with mixed symptoms.

What is an SPG Block?

An SPG block is a procedure that administers medication to the SPG, which modulates nerve impulses to try to provide effective and long-lasting pain relief.

If it works so well, why don’t more people do it?

The SPG block procedure has been around since the early 1900s. It is a historically effective procedure for the treatment of chronic head pain. Most physicians do not administer conventional SPG block procedures because they are invasive, highly uncomfortable for the patient, and have significant risk.

THE NEW PROCEDURE, AND WHY IT’S BETTER

What makes using the SphenoCath® Medical Device better?

The SphenoCath® Medical Device was awarded U.S. Patent # 8,388,600 in March of 2013 as an “Apparatus, System, and Method for Treating Atypical Headaches”. The traditional SPG block procedures often require the patient to be sedated so the physician can navigate a Q-tiplike applicator through the nasal passage or with a long, thin needle through the side of the head to deliver medication to the SPG. While effective, it can be a risky procedure. Our SPG block procedure is minimally invasive and quick, with very little or no discomfort for the patient. We use the FDA reviewed and patented latex-free, single-use SphenoCath® Medical Device that allows our physicians to swiftly and easily administer medication to the SPG.

Will it hurt?

The procedure is designed to be safe and relatively painless. You may experience minimal or mild discomfort when the SphenoCath® Medical Device is inserted into the nose, but it is nothing like the needles and stiff applicators of the past. The SphenoCath® Medical Device is small and fl exible, making the procedure as comfortable as possible for quick relief.

How long does it take?

It usually only takes minutes for the physician to administer the Trigeminal Nerve and SPG Nerve Blocks using the SphenoCath® Medical Device. After the procedure, the patient should recline or lie fl at for another 10–15 minutes to experience maximum benefit relief.

How well does it work?

In a 50 patient pilot study performed by a board certified physician specialist, when SPG blocks are properly performed, using the new SphenoCath® Medical Device and procedure, the results were very positive:

  • Over 74% of the patients experienced complete symptom relief
  • An additional 20% of the patients experienced over 50% relief
  • The remaining 6% did not experience pain relief

Compared with other known medication and interventional therapies, the SphenoCath® Medical Device achieved much higher levels of patient benefit. Many patients are seeing benefits as long as 90 days. In the event you have been using Migraine medications for a long time frame, you may need additional procedures performed during the first 4 to 6 weeks.

What are the associated risks and side effects?

Our procedure has minimal associated side effects and low risks. There are seldom any risks associated with topical anesthetics, but the medication used depends on your doctor. The medication may drain into your mouth and cause an unpleasant taste or some numbness, and, extremely infrequently, there may be some slight bleeding or worsening of the headache.

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Meet the Doctor

After graduating from Loma Linda School of Medicine Dr. Unsell spent more than a decade serving at Loma Linda in several positions including the Assistant Professor of Orthopedics as well as the Assistant director of the Hand Fellowship Program. He has been involved with the training of 35 hand fellows, 15 of which now hold academic teaching positions.

“SphenoCath for immediate relief of migraine headaches is nothing short of miraculous. This procedure itself is really no big deal, there are a few seconds of mild discomfort which results in relieving debilitating pain.”

S. Jones

Migraine Patient

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