First in Asia: 23-year-old from Mauritius receives neurostimulator implant at Hyderabad hospital

Suffering from medically refractory chronic migraines with autonomic symptoms, the patient had tried all available medical treatments.

BySumit Jha

Published Apr 23, 2024 | 7:30 AMUpdatedApr 23, 2024 | 7:31 AM

Neurostimulator Implant

In a first in Asia, the neurosurgery team at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) in Hyderabad performed a high cervical spinal cord stimulator implantation (Neurostimulator) to treat chronic headaches.

Considered a breakthrough in neurosurgery and pain management, a 23-year-old female patient from Mauritius underwent the procedure on Friday, 19 April.

Suffering from medically refractory chronic migraines with autonomic symptoms, the patient had tried all available medical treatments but still experienced unbearable pain before the surgery.

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The disease

Refractory chronic migraine with autonomic symptoms is a specific type of migraine condition that is resistant or unresponsive to standard medical treatments.

It is characterised by frequent and severe headaches that occur over an extended period (chronic), and they are often accompanied by autonomic symptoms.

Autonomic symptoms involve disturbances in the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and sweating.

Examples of autonomic symptoms associated with migraines include changes in blood pressure, temperature regulation, and gastrointestinal issues.

AIG Chairman Dr D Nageshwar Reddy said, “Chronic pain can significantly impact a patient’s life, sometimes indefinitely. This breakthrough brings hope to all those enduring any form of chronic pain.”

The procedure, led by Senior Consultant of Chronic Pain and Neuromodulation Dr Siddharth Chavali, and Director of Neurosurgery Dr Subodh Raju, marked a significant advancement in neuromodulation techniques.

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The procedure

“The neurostimulator implant procedure involves placing a device that delivers mild electrical impulses to targeted nerves, effectively interrupting pain signals and providing relief to patients,” explained Dr Raju.

He emphasised the crucial role of the high cervical area in bodily functions and expressed optimism about the implant’s potential to enhance the patient’s quality of life.

Dr Raju highlighted the sophistication of the procedure and its ability to offer relief to patients with similar debilitating conditions, stating, “Our success with this operation opens new doors for patients suffering from chronic pain.”

“This innovative approach offers new possibilities for patients to reclaim their lives from chronic pain conditions,” added Dr Chavali.

He further stated, “With this groundbreaking achievement, patients suffering from chronic headaches have newfound hope for a better quality of life, free from the burden of persistent pain.”

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)