Reed Migraine Centers FAQs – Migraine Treatment & Relief
The Reed Procedure ® : A Permanent Surgical Migraine Treatment
Reed Migraine Centers FAQs are dedicated to answering some common questions about The Reed Procedure ® and the 4-Lead Procedure, the revolutionary migraine treatment invented by Kenneth Reed, M.D.
Some topics include occipital nerve stimulation, trial stimulator, and a general reference for what the Reed Procedure ® is and how it works. The FAQs are organized by category. Note that on the Video FAQs page, Dr. Reed answers related questions. If you have any other questions that are not answered by these FAQs, please contact us via this website or contact a patient coordinator directly at 972-707-2800 or after hours at 972-922-1692.
The Reed Procedure ®
What is the Reed Procedure ®?
How does the Reed Procedure ® work?
Am I a candidate for the Reed Procedure?
- You have 2 or more severe headaches a week, and
- You have tried at least 3 months of medical management (headache medications) and nothing is working.
I’ve heard of Occipital Nerve Stimulation. Is the Reed Procedure basically the same thing?
In actual practice, the decision of what modality to use in an individual patient — ONS, SONS, or “Combined ON-SONS” — is based on where the patient feels the pain. If the pain is confined to solely the back of the head, then ONS alone should suffice. However, for patients that experience pain over both the back and front of the head, the “Combined ON-SONS” procedure (full Reed Procedure) is recommended.
Dr. Reed was actually the first physician in the world to do both procedures – ONS in 1992 and “Combined ON-SONS” in 2004. As such, he and the other RMC physicians that he personally trained are the world’s most experienced in both ONS and “Combined ON-SONS” (Full Reed Procedure).
Is the Reed Procedure FDA approved?
And, after over 2 decades of use, the neurostimulator implant procedures that we use are accepted as a standard of care across the medical community, as an “off label” application for chronic head pain.
Further, Medicare and most commercial and national carriers now approve implantable peripheral neurostimulation for various types of chronic head pain and/or headaches. For example, Medicare’s national policy indeed now fully approves implantable neurostimulation for treatment-resistant chronic migraines.
Is there medical research in peer-reviewed journals on the Reed Procedure?
In fact, Dr. Reed published the original paper on the subject in his 1999 publication of “Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Occipital Neuralgia.” That paper started things out, and since Dr. Reed’s original paper, there have been a total of 111 published clinical reports on research conducted by 398 researchers representing 144 research institutions (71 in the US, and 73 from across Europe and elsewhere). You may download the details of the papers and review the researchers and institutions by clicking this link: Reed Procedure Research.
Further, of these authors and institutions, Reed Migraine has taken a leadership position, noting the following landmarks:
Reed published the original paper on “Occipital Nerve Stimulation” (a component of the Reed Procedure) in 1999. All of the other papers follow his original report.
Reed published the original paper on “Combined Occipital and Supraorbital Nerve Stimulation” (the Full Reed Procedure) in 2009.
Reed partnered with several in institutions including the Mayo Clinic SW and Duke Medical Center in the foundational prospective multi-center study on “Occipital Neurostimulation and Chronic Migraine” underwritten by St. Jude Medical and published in 2014.
Reed Migraine Centers
Why Choose Reed Migraine?
Reed Migraine is home to the world’s most experienced physician specialists for the treatment of migraine by implantable neurostimulation. Dr. Reed and his partners literally invented the foundational implantable neurostimulation procedure, known as the Reed Procedure, that is currently being used around the world today. We thus have the longest experience (over 25 years) of any specialists in the world. In addition to being the world’s most experienced specialist, Dr. Reed continues to publish original research on the subject, and he lectures and trains physicians around the world.
What is the Cephalalgia Award that Dr. Reed won in 2009?
The International Headache Society comprises top neurology headache specialists from around the world. The journal receives hundreds of original articles each year from top academic centers, including Stanford, Cambridge, and Johns Hopkins.
The significance of the award and the publication of The Reed Procedure® paper, combined with the recognition it received from the medical community, shows the promise this procedure holds for future treatment of head pain.
Can I hear about it from a patient?
What is a Patient Ambassador?
Is the Reed Procedure® covered by insurance?
Reed Migraine’s Insurance Specialists have over 25 years of experience in successfully working with all of the carriers with respect to verifying benefits and obtaining precertification for the procedure. We pride ourselves on complete transparency here and our specialists will keep you updated throughout the process. The key point here is that you will have confirmation of insurance coverage prior to any procedures.
Can I qualify even if I have had other surgeries for migraines and they haven’t helped?
Will this help my type of headache?
Implanted Neurostimulation (Occipital Nerve Stimulation, the Reed Procedure) has been demonstrated successful for virtually all types of chronic head pain including:
- Migraine Headaches (all types)
- Chronic Migraine
- Chronic Daily Migraine
- Hemiplegic Migraine
- Migraine with Aura and without Aura
- Refractory Migraine
- Any other type of Migraine Headache
- New Persistent Daily Headache
- Migraine (or any Headache) that occurs after head or neck injury
- Cluster Headache
- Pseudotumor Cerebri (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus; Elevated Intracranial Pressure)
- Arnold-Chiari Syndrome
- Occipital Neuralgia
- Post-herpetic Neuralgia
- Any other type of Neuralgia of the Face and Head
- Brain Aneurysm
I have one of the following medical conditions. Is it still okay for me to have the Reed Procedure?
- Any type of shunt, including “VP Shunt” or spinal fluid shunt
- Have undergone repeated Lumbar Punctures (LPs)
- Pseudotumor Cerebri (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nerve Damage
- Had prior surgery on any nerves
- Any type of arthritis, including Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Have another implanted stimulator, e.g., spinal cord stimulator
- Heart Conditions, including pacemakers
Does the Reed Procedure help Hemiplegic Migraine?
In addition to the Migraine, I get “auras”, which can be flashing lights, partial loss of vision, numbness, weakness, bad smells, and other symptoms. Does the RP help with just the migraine pain, or does it also help with some of these other associated symptoms (auras)?
What are the risks or downsides?
Can I have an MRI if I have the Reed Procedure ®?
Why is the trial done?
What happens during the trial?
Will it cause physical limitations?
Are there any problems with travel, such as with scanners at airports?
I live out of town. How much travel and what is involved in getting a stimulator?
- Trip 1. This is for placement of the Trial Stimulator and it requires you to stay in a Dallas hotel for 2 nights. After these first 2 days, you may return to your hometown for the duration of the 7-day trial. (Any nurse or physician in your hometown can easily remove the trial stimulator in the office.)
- Trip 2. This is for the placement of the Permanent Stimulator, and it requires you to stay in a Dallas hotel for 3 nights. After placement of the permanent unit, there is generally no need for any planned further trips to Dallas, as your local physician can handle everything from there. Basically, once the unit is implanted and has healed, then typically there is actually no reason to see a physician. That is one of the many beauties of an implanted stimulator – you simply do not need to go back and forth to the doctor’s office. Now, we are available 24/7 should you have any questions or issues, but barring something very unusual and unexpected, there will be simply no reason to return.
Important Note: The trial stimulator procedure may be performed in Dallas, New York City, Chicago, and Miami. All permanent stimulator placements are performed only in Dallas.