Surgical Procedures

Occipital Stimulator

An occipital nerve stimulator can be an effective way to treat headaches and upper neck pain. An occipital stimulator sends electrical currents into specific areas to interrupt the message of pain before it gets to your brain.

You need to have a trial of occipital nerve stimulator to see if a permanent stimulator is likely to relieve your pain. This procedure is done in hospital under anaesthetic and x-ray guidance. Dr Davies will insert electrodes under the skin over the upper neck/back of head. A temporary device is then connected and turned on and settings adjusted to get the best coverage for your specific pain.

Usually the trial goes for around a week and Dr Davies will see you in his office and find out how your pain is during the trial period. If the trial is deemed successful, he will then make plans to insert a permanent stimulator.

You will need to have the trial leads removed and to have healed from that before we move on to the permanent stimulator.

Insertion of an occipital nerve stimulator is done in the hospital under anaesthetic and Dr Davies will insert electrodes the same way he did with the trial. The electrodes are then tunnelled under the skin to the battery about the size of a matchbox, which is usually placed under the skin in the upper chest.

Wireless Bluetooth technology allows you to connect to your stimulator via a remote control. You are able to adjust settings yourself which allows you to be in control of your own therapy. Programs and settings are programmed according to each individual under the guidance of the technician who will maintain regular contact with you and make adjustment as required for the lifetime of your device.