Gamma Knife Surgery

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Posted by Mark S. ( on September 17, 1999 at 17:26:57:

By way of introduction, I'm a 44 year old male with a
history of cluster headaches since 1992. My condition
went from episodic to chronic in the spring of 1995.
Since that time my longest period of being headache free
was one week and this only happened several times. I have
tried all the treatment regimines and still had 15-20
headaches per week with the only relief coming from
imitrex injections (thank god for health insurance).
My nuerologist in Los Angeles, known for his specialty
in headaches, basically told me he had no other
suggestions and told me I may want to reasearch GKS.
He was unsure who was doing it or where, so I did my
research on the internet. After locating a surgeon who
did this procedure I went for the usual exams and tests
and after receiving approval from my insurance (amazing),
I had the procedure done in July. The procedure was
unpleasant but not painful on a cs scale. I started at
6:00 AM and was home in LA by 1:00 PM. For the first
6 weeks I saw no improvement and was extremely
disappointed. By the first week of September, I began
to see a reduction in the frequency and soon thereafter,
a reduction steadily in pain. At this point I have been
headache free for 14 days. I still have those so-called
"shadows" with some minor discomfort as well as that certain
pressure behind the eye. For those of you who understand,
it still seems like the"demon" wants to come through and
still tries, but just can't seem to break through. I am
currently taking 1 tablet of cafergot and 1 80mg tablet
of verapamil in the morning and then again before bed.
I plan on tapering these off within the next couple o
weeks. As far as side affects, I have recently developed
some numbness and tingling on the left side of my face
and a sensation somewhat like a feather being lightly
brushed against the cheek. So far these side affects
are acceptible trade-off, and hopefully they will not
increase. This is the first time in years that I have
actually left the house without my injections! I am
not recommending this procedure only posting for others
to evaluate. I hope you will pardon the legnth but felt
the subject matter was important enough to address
thoroughly. It is unknown how long this will remain
effective since nerves do seem to regenerate, but any
pain free periods are a blessing.

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