"Nothing seemed to work for my migraines.
Dr. Branch was my last resort."
Dr. David Branch has been performing and teaching migraine surgery since 2002, when he founded the Northeast Migraine Surgery Center. He has treated innumerous migraine trigger sites on patients nationwide, and internationally from as far away as Dubai. The majority of his patients are now referred from neurologists, as well as from other reputable headache specialists.
Dr. Branch's first migraine patient was a chronic sufferer who had visited multiple headache centers around the country, including month-long admissions for intractable pain. She became immediately pain-free after her surgery in Bangor. The surgery is performed almost entirely in an outpatient setting. Gradually, migraine surgery has gained a foothold in mainstream care. Patients from Canada, particularly Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Quebec, can drive to Bangor for consultations and surgery. Dr. Branch's first patient went from chronic daily headaches to ONE headache over the first 9 years since the day of her surgery.
At Northeastern Interventional Pain and Migraine we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of the source of your pain rather than tying you to a lifelong carousel of medications. We have found that with this approach, long term medications are less often needed and tend to work more effectively.
Come to Northeastern Interventional Pain and Migraine to finally get your headache pain under control.
Some patients may prefer a minimally invasive alternative to medications or injections for a more permanent solution.
- Migraine Headache
- Chronic Daily Headache
- Cluster Headache
- Menstrual Headache
- Occipital Neuralgia
- Sinus Headache
- Trigeminal Headache
- Tension Headache
For decades the focus of migraine treatment has been on turning off the migraine pain once it has started. These "abortive" medications are to be taken early and at a high enough dose to stop the pain in its tracks. For some who respond only partially, this can be a prescription for a cycle of rebound headache. Also, for some, the headache can spread to different area of the head and neck, become more frequent or even become chronic unrelenting daily pain. This focus has involved medications that are taken to act centrally in the brain and circulated throughout the body. Most of the preventative medications have some classes of drugs that treat other conditions, such as high blood pressure, seizure disorders, depression, arthritis, and autoimmune disease to name a few.
What is hard to accept is the fact that most of these medications have no predetermined endpoint. Meaning, they are intended to be taken as long as the disease exists, possibly for life. This is despite the fact that most medications taken have only, at most, 5 to 10-year data about long-term side effects. Botox, or botulinum toxin, on the other hand has been used for nearly 50 years with one of the cleanest records in terms of side effects and adverse reactions.
Migraine surgery, likewise, and surgery in general has been tolerated for centuries, and the advancements in anesthesia over the last 50 years have made unexpected mortal complications exceedingly rare. In fact, Dr. Branch has yet to hear report of a significant complication or have a legal complaint brought forth by any migraine surgery patient (or any patient, for that matter), despite more than 1,600 migraine surgical procedures over the last 20 years. Dr. Branch, as the first surgeon on the East coast performing migraine surgery, has been host to many surgeons over the years seeking training in migraine surgery.
What we have known for years is that migraine disease is usually an inherited condition or predisposition. The headache is generated in the brain in the hind brain just above the occipital and trigeminal nerve nuclei (that receives information from the sensation nerves of the face, head and neck) which starts vessels to dilate, pain to be felt, and often a host of other symptoms.
What is new and exciting is the now widely accepted concept that the sensations coming through the occipital and trigeminal nerves can be the very thing that triggers the generator to begin the headache cascade. The most salient explanation is that a migraine headache patient's nerves have less insulating myelin and are more sensitive to normal stimulations, such as the pressure from a frown or a teeth clench or even a nearby blood vessel, causing normal pressure or pulsations to be felt as painful. As you might expect pain typically causes frowning, clenching and neck tightening, further compressing the nerves and starting a cycle of pain spawning more pain. If this process goes on long enough or there is some injury to one of these nerves, evolution from episodic to unrelenting daily headache will often occur.
The principles of migraine surgery involve reducing or eliminating background stimulation of these nerves mentioned above. This usually involves releasing a fibrous band (as in carpal tunnel surgery of the hand), reduction in the amount of muscle, and or removal of small arteries - any of which could be pressed against one or several sensory nerves of the head and neck. Some patients are stimulating the nerves that relay sensations within the nasal cavities with contact points that have long been known to stimulate a migraine headache. The contact points and vibrations are eliminated with conventional nasal airway surgery.
Northeastern Interventional Pain and Migraine
1945 Congress St
Portland, ME 04102
Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery
Bangor, ME 04401
To schedule an appointment, please call 207-835-7079 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team will be happy to assist you in any way possible, and all efforts will be made to accommodate your schedule. Please be sure to let us know the best way to reach you.
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