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Occipital Nerve Stimulators - How They Work

Dr Brian Klagges, MD

An anesthesiologist at Amoskeag Anesthesiology in Manchester, New Hampshire, Brian Klagges, MD, also serves as director of interventional pain management at nearby Elliot Hospital. Dr. Brian Klagges stands out as the first in Manchester to surgically introduce an occipital nerve stimulator.

An occipital nerve stimulator is a surgical device which, when implanted into the base of the neck, can send electrical impulses that block headache pain. The technique functions as a form of neuromodulation therapy and offers an option for occipital headache conditions that fail to respond to other interventions.
To date, patients have received occipital nerve stimulation for such conditions as chronic migraine headaches and post-trauma pain. To determine whether it might be effective for a particular patient, a surgical team introduces a temporary stimulator that includes subcutaneous leads and an external battery. If the patient reports significant symptom relief and a quality-of-life increase over the course of four to seven days, a surgeon can then introduce a permanent device.

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