Implanting wires for migraine relief

Implanting wires for migraine relief

Implanting wires for migraine relief

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by Karen Grace / KENS 5

kvue.com

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 9:07 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- If you suffer from chronic migraines, imagine being able to get rid of the pain without ever popping another pill.

On Wednesday, for the first time in San Antonio, a patient had wires implanted in his head to end his suffering permanently.

Roberto De Luna had two wires implanted in his forehead and behind his head so that he will soon be able to control his migraine pain through a computer chip.

"I know when it's going to start because I feel on the right side," said De Luna. "So I put pressure here with the pillow," he showed us.

The 58-year-old man spends a lot of time nursing his severe migraines. He says he was forced to retire early because changing his diet and taking painkillers could not put him out of his misery.

"I feel like I'm dying," said De Luna. "Dying alive."

But on Wednesday De Luna made history as the first patient in San Antonio to have tiny wires implanted in his forehead and behind his head to cure his pain permanently.

The wires will stimulate the nerves that cause migraine pain. Doctor William Tisdall says De Luna will be able to control the signals through a computer, eliminating the need for him to take painkillers.

"There's no drugs, there's no medications involved," said Tisdall of Interventional Pain Management. "It's basically using electronics to treat a chronic pain condition."

A chip similar to a pacemaker will eventually be implanted in De Luna's back side. That is expected to give him the freedom to charge it himself and manage his pain.

For De Luna it's not just pain relief, it's the chance to live again.

"I want my life back," said De Luna before going into the operating room at Victory Medical Center San Antonio at 4243 E. Southcross Blvd.

Experts say the procedure can cost about $25,000 but they add that insurance covers most severe cases. The wires are unnoticeable under the skin.

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