UPHS – Bell offers SphenoCath procedure to treat headache issues

ISHPEMING — Managing pain can be a chore for headache patients. They can feel discouraged and exhausted by a lack of effective long-term pain relief.

At UPHS – Bell, we offer a quick, painless procedure to alleviate your headache pains. The SphenoCath device is small and flexible, making the procedure as comfortable as possible for quick, safe and relatively painless relief. It’s a soft catheter that treats headache pain right at the source with a minimally invasive SPG blocking technique. The catheter is specifically designed for insertion into a patient’s nose. During the procedure, the patient lays in a flat or reclined position, slightly propped up with a pillow under the shoulders. The doctor inserts the catheter into the nasal passage using fluoroscopic guidance. Medication inside the device is delivered to the mucus over the sphenopalatine ganglion, effectively administering a SPG block for migraine or headache pain.

Niksa Vlasic, MD, performs the SphenoCath procedure at UPHS – Bell. Call 906.485.2632 for more information.

Compared with other known expensive medication and interventional therapies, the SphenoCath device achieved much higher levels of patient benefit. Up to 96% of patients experience relief of headache pain. Many patients are seeing improvements as long as 24 months. And in March of 2013, the SphenoCath Medical Device was recognized as an “Apparatus, System, and Method for Treating Atypical Headaches.”

The SphenoCath block treats SPG, which is a collection of neurons inside the head. It is located outside of the brain but is exposed to the outside environment due to its connection to the nasal mucosa. The SPG is connected to a number of pain-associated issues in the head, including migraine, tension and cluster headaches, as well as headaches with mixed symptoms.

The SPG block administers medication to the SPG, which modules nerve impulses to try to provide effective and long-lasting pain relief. The procedure typically only takes minutes for the physician to administer the Trigeminal Nerve and SPG blocks using the sphenocath device. After the procedure, the patient should recline or lie flat in a darker, quieter room for another 10 minutes to experience maximum relief.

Patients may experience minimal or mild discomfort when the SphenoCath device is inserted into the nose, but it is nothing like the needles and stiff applicators of the past. The procedure requires the patient to be experiencing a headache at the time of their visit.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from headache issues, the SphenoCath procedure at UPHS – Bell may be able to help you.

To learn more or schedule an appointment to see if the SphenoCath treatment is right for you, call 906.485.2632 or visit us at https://www.bellhospital.org/our-services/imaging-services

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