Dr. Ken Reed of Reed Migraine Centers invented both the Omega Procedure and Reed Procedure ®, as they are both fundamentally the same surgical procedures for the implantation of a peripheral neurostimulator for the treatment of migraine. So, the only practical difference between the two is that they have different registered service or trademark names. So, yes, the same procedures, just different commercial names, and Dr. Reed invented both.

What is the Omega Procedure and the Reed Procedure?

The Reed Procedure and the Omega Procedure are surgical procedures that carry the generic name of Combined Occipital and Supraorbital Nerve Stimulation, a procedure that has resulted in good to excellent results in hundreds of patients as documented in over 90 peer-reviewed medical reports by authors representing over 140 respected institutions, including the US and foreign.

As the name implies, this procedure involves the implantation of stimulator leads over the occipital nerves (cover the back of the head) and supraorbital nerves (cover the forehead). The picture above illustrates stimulating leads over the occipital nerves, which produces Occipital Nerve Stimulation. When these nerves are stimulated by safe, very mild pulses, the patient feels only a mild tingling sensation over these regions. By several proposed mechanisms, the migraines are commonly dramatically eased, often to the point of virtually complete resolution.

While the leads are evident in the picture above, in an actual person they are fully implanted under the skin, so that nothing is visible. In fact, in the great majority of patients, there is simply no evidence that anything is implanted, as typically there are no scars or lumps at all. The patient simply gets to return to full normal life and activities and nobody can tell that anything had happened.

What is the History of Implanted Neurostimulation for Head Pain?

An integral component of the Omega Procedure and Reed Procedure is Occipital Nerve Stimulation (depicted on picture above). Dr. Reed was the first to perform a percutaneous occipital nerve stimulator implant in 1992. In 1999, his team published the original paper in the literature on Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Occipital Neuralgia. Since this original 1999 publication, there have been over 90 peer-reviewed articles from prominent institutions validating the therapy. Dr. Reed then went on to improve the procedure by his invention of Combined Occipital and Supraorbital Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Migraine, whereupon its publication in 2009 resulted in Dr. Reed being awarded the prestigious Cephalalgia Award by the International Headache Society, as the best original contribution to the field for the year. Dr. Reed continues as a leader in the field, publishing numerous medical research papers on the subject, as well as a textbook chapter. Additionally, Dr. Reed has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences on the subject.

Summary and Conclusions

The Omega Procedure and the Reed Procedure ® are the exact same surgical procedure; the difference is solely in their registered names. From a practical standpoint, the difference comes in the relative experience of the physicians involved. While there are excellent specialists implanting under both trademarks, only Reed Migraine physicians have over 20 years experience — clearly the longest experience base in the world — at doing the procedures. They have performed more procedures, over a longer period of time, and by far have performed and published on the most research. To learn more about the Reed Procedure®, register for one of Reed Migraine Centers’ FREE Informational Webinars.

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Omega Procedure & Reed Procedure Illustration


Learn more about the Reed and Omega migraine procedure treatment options, and find out if the Reed Procedure is right for you.