MCALESTER, Okla. - If you have ever had a migraine you know how debilitating it can be.
Studies show more than 300-million people struggle with chronic headaches. Experts say women are three times more likely to experience the headaches.
It’s pain one young mother knows all too well. After years of struggling with daily migraines Danielle Robinson turned to a new option, called the Omega Procedure, in hopes of finding relief.
Danielle said, “I just want my life back. I just want to feel like myself again. I feel like a zombie.”
Danielle has struggled with migraines almost daily for most of her life.
She said, “I’ve done acupuncture, massages, chiropractor. I’ve taken every prescription drug there was.”
After a recent trip to the emergency room she found herself desperate to cure her migraine pain.
She did some Internet searching and came across something called the Omega Procedure at the Migraine Treatment Centers of America, in Dallas, Texas.
Doctor Darren Schuhmacher said, “These are typically patients who have had many years of headaches, basically every day.”
Danielle invited us in as she underwent the trial version of the Omega Procedure.
She said, “It has to work. I don’t know what I’ll do if it doesn’t.”
Here’s how it works, four wires are placed inside the patients head, two in the front and two in the back. Those wires provide stimulation to the areas where a headache most often occurs, sort of like a massage for your brain.
Dr. Schuhmacher said, “It replaces a patients headache pain with a sensation that feels good.”
The wires are attached to a battery pack which is implanted at the patient’s hip. The patient then controls the stimulation through a wireless remote.
Our cameras were allowed inside the operating room as Dr. Schuhmacher performed the trial procedure on Danielle.
Since this is a trial the wires will remain visible.
Danielle will try the device for a few days, making sure it helps before having the permanent device implanted.
Dr. Schuhmacher said, “The permanent implant is totally under the skin, nothing is visible any more.”
Danielle said, “I really hope and pray that it does work.”
Within hours of surgery Danielle notices relief. In the days to follow she even woke up for the first time in years without a headache.
Danielle said, “If you’ve tried everything else and nothing’s worked then this is definitely worth a shot.”
Doctors say this procedure is not guaranteed to work for everyone, but it could bring relief to those who have exhausted other treatment options.
Danielle is scheduled to have the permanent Omega Procedure done in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, the trial device was removed earlier this month.
She says it was great to go without a headache for those few days; however, as soon as the device was removed her migraines returned.
Fortunately, for Danielle, insurance did cover the majority of the procedure cost. She paid $1,500 out of pocket. She is hoping to have the permanent procedure done in the next few weeks.
You can find more information about the Omega Procedure by going to the Migraine Treatment Centers of America’s web site