Headaches rank second to the common cold as the ailment that bothers most people. 50 million Americans experience headaches are so severe that they consult a doctor. While there are many types of headaches, the most common include migraine headaches, cluster headaches due to trigeminal neuralgia, tension, sinusitis, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). It is for these types of headaches that Sphenopalatine Neuromodulation therapy has been shown to be effective.
The SphenoCath® Solution
CHI Health now offers SphenoCath®, a simple and effective procedure to provide patients with immediate and long-term relief from their symptoms. The SphenoCath® device and 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/PPG/ Trigeminal blocking technique.
How does it work?
The sphenopalatine ganglion is a collection of nerve cells located just under the tissue lining the back of the nose. The SPG nerve bundle has been a specific target for the treatment of severe headache pain over the years. It is connected to a number of different pain-associated issues in the head, including episodic and chronic migraine, trigeminal neuralgi, upper plate dental pain and atypical facialneuropathies.
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.
How does SphenoCath® differ from the SPG Block procedure?
The patented SphenoCath is designed to quickly and comfortably deliver medication to the area of the sphenopalatine ganglion. The SphenoCath specially-designed catheter gives health care providers unprecedented access to the entire SPG circuit and bilateral V2 blockade with a safe and simple procedure that can be performed without sedation. When the SPG circuit is rebooted with a common local anesthetic (i.e. 4% Lidocaine), normal autonomic functions, such as homeostasis of cerebral blood flow are restored.
The SphenoCath delivers medication that can sustain pain relief in a 15 minute procedure that is comfortable and quick. With the SphenoCath an SPG block may be achieved without needles, cotton swabs, atomizer sprays, or systemic narcotics.
With the patient laying down, the device is inserted into the nasal cavity until reaching the upper portion of the nasal bone.
The device is then withdrawn one centimeter. The inner catheter is extended and the local anesthetic is delivered. The procedure is repeated in the other nostril, and the patient remains in place for seven to ten minutes to be most effective.
How successful is the procedure?
Studies have shown that up to 80% of patients with one of the headache syndromes previously described will show significant improvement of their typical symptoms.
Almost 2 out of 3 show complete or near complete resolution of symptoms within 24 hours of procedure. 58% of patients report sustained improvement at one month and 50% at three months. The majority of the patients studied were able to decrease or stop their medications altogether. If significant relief is achieved, the procedure can be repeated and potentially lead to additional long-term relief.
Careful tracking of procedures throughout the United States and beyond demonstrates exceptional patient tolerance. No severe events or reactions have been reported.
- Some patients may notice a metallic taste from the Lidocaine during the procedure.
- Some patients may experience slight perceived difficulty swallowing, during the procedure, due to sensory numbness in the throat. (Verbal reassurance will usually suffice, but a sip of liquid with a flexible straw so the patient positioning is uninterrupted is fine.
This simple procedure is effective in providing immediate and long-term relief from migraine and other related conditions.
- Quick, simple, and comfortable in-office procedure.
- Painless, comfortable, gentle
- Effective- higher success rates at administering an SPG block, with lower risk.
- Can be used during pregnancy
- Low cost, and covered by most insurance companies and Medicare.
- Ability to allow patients to return to work or daily activities immediately