More than 100 million Americans suffer from severe pain, an incidence rate which outpaces heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined.
Patient Sherry Fischer of Pearl River, LA., is one of them. At 62 years old, Ms. Fischer has had to live with severe pain in her right knee for years with no relief. “The pain level in my knee became unbearable,” she says. “I couldn’t sleep or complete simple tasks. It was affecting my quality of life.”
Her journey to find relief brought her to Ochsner Baptist - a campus of Ochsner Medical Center - where pain management specialist Dr. Gassan Chaiban recommended she try a new technology for chronic pain only available at Ochsner. Ms. Fischer, who had all but lost hope, didn’t hesitate to become the first patient in Louisiana to receive the Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) implant.
“I was fascinated to think I would be the first in the state to be on the receiving end of something so revolutionary,” she said. “I couldn’t believe the results, I felt relief almost immediately.”
She received her temporary implant Tuesday, May 24. Dr. Maged Guirguis, known nationally for his research on spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and chronic pain management successfully implanted the device with assistance from Dr. Chaiban—becoming the first physician to do so in Louisiana and one of only a handful in the nation.
“I am thrilled to be among the first in the United States to offer previously underserved patients this revolutionary technology,” said Dr. Guirguis. “It’s especially important for patients who have tried multiple treatment options before without receiving adequate pain relief.”
Dr. Chaiban echoed Dr. Guirguis’ thoughts, noting that: “It is important to recognize that some previously difficult to treat forms of pain such as persisting pain after inguinal hernia surgery, may now enjoy amazing relief with this technology.”
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February of 2016, the St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator System for DRG stimulation was specifically created to treat pain associated with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Unlike similar devices, the St. Jude Medical Axium™ has the ability to target specific areas of the body where pain occurs.
Fischer, who recently celebrated the birth of her eighth grandchild, received her permanent implant on Monday, June 20th.
“As soon as they took the temporary implant out, the pain returned immediately,” she said. “I’m hopeful I will experience the same amazing results with the permanent implant so I can keep up with my grandkids.”
One week after Fischer became the first in Louisiana to receive the trial implant, Dr. Guirguis performed the second case in the state at Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner. The patient in that case also experienced “remarkable” relief.
For more information, please visit Ochsner Pain Management or call 504-321-4777.