Beyond their debilitating pain, one thing is certain about chronic migraine headaches: they affect your ability to function on a daily basis. Fortunately, a new 15-minute nerve block procedure, called SphenoCath, fights severe headache pain head on. And, it’s available at North Kansas City Hospital.
“I was having anywhere between 16 and 29 migraines each month,” said Laurie Coble, an NKCH patient. “My life revolved around my migraines. It was hard to make plans with friends and family because there always the chance I’d have a migraine and have to cancel.”
Laurie’s migraines started in 2000 when she was in nursing school. She took an oral medication for six years. “I went off the medication in 2007 and didn’t have any migraines until 2014. By then, there were only a few oral medications I could take that didn’t cause a severe allergic reaction.”
Laurie connected with Steven C. Kosa, MD, a neurologist with Meritas Health Neurology. He suggested she try Botox injections for pain relief. The injections were beneficial, but lasted a shorter amount of time than expected. After two Botox sessions, Dr. Kosa recommended adding the new SphenoCath procedure to her treatment plan.
“The SphenoCath is a minimally invasive urgent treatment option for migraine relief,” Dr. Kosa said. “It can also be used as a bridge therapy for patients whose Botox treatment doesn’t last until the next round of injections. We perform the procedure in the office, with the goal of helping patients avoid a visit to the ER.”
During the procedure, Dr. Kosa threads a thin, flexible catheter into each nostril and injects a long-acting anesthetic that covers a membrane that lies on top of a specific nerve bundle. The nerve bundle is part of a deeper and larger nerve system involved in many headache syndromes, including migraines. The anesthetic absorbs across the membrane, blocks the nerve bundle and interrupts the headache.
Combining the SphenoCath procedure with Botox injections every three months proved successful for Laurie. “After my first treatment using both methods, I only had four migraines in a three-month period,” Laurie said.
Should her migraines become severe in between visits, she can call Dr. Kosa’s office and get a same-day appointment for an additional SphenoCath treatment. “Dr. Kosa and his staff offer this service because they understand the urgency of treating migraine pain,” Laurie said.
“SphenoCath changed my life, and it changed my family’s life because I can do more things with them. I no longer worry about migraines, and I am in control. Dr. Kosa and the SphenoCath procedure gave me my life back.”
In addition to Botox injections and SphenoCath, the neurologists at Meritas Health Neurology offer a range of treatment options for migraines and other related conditions.
Learn more about our neurology services.