Lenox Hill Specialists Give Chronic Pain Sufferer Her Life Back

NEW YORK, NY – After three years of enduring excruciating chronic back pain and being told there was no likelihood of recovery, Melissa Collins of West Babylon, NY finally got her life back thanks to a unique treatment she received at Lenox Hill Hospital. The severe pain was due to permanent nerve damage the 31 year-old mother of three, suffered after multiple lumbar spine surgeries she underwent three years earlier. Doctors told her there was nothing they could do to stop the pain and that she would need to manage it for the rest of her life. It was only when Melissa met Dr. Kiran V. Patel and Dr. Mitchell Levine, both of Lenox Hill Hospital, that she was able to get the debilitating pain under control with an intrathecal pain pump implant.

Melissa went to see Kiran V. Patel, MD, a pain management specialist, after being told by several other doctors there was nothing they could do to help her. Dr. Patel tried a variety of treatment options, including numerous injections and medications. However, after those were ineffective, she suggested an intrathecal pain pump trial, a procedure in which a small amount of opioid pain medication is injected into the spinal space. The trial was successful in significantly reducing Melissa’s pain and Dr. Patel referred her to Mitchell Levine, MD, director of spinal neurosurgery, for placement of a permanent intrathecal pump implant at the Lenox Hill Neuromodulation Center.

“The Lenox Hill Neuromodulation Center is a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort to alleviate pain and restore function through the application of technology and medicine,” said Dr. Patel describing the program at Lenox Hill Hospital. “For the appropriate patient, the application of spinal cord stimulation or intrathecal therapy can dramatically decrease pain and restore quality of life.”

“Our staff is dedicated to working together to create a customized pain treatment plan for each patient that incorporates the most current and advanced pain management techniques and procedures,” added Dr. Levine. “We do everything we can to try to enhance their quality of life to the highest possible level.”

The intrathecal pump implant is a treatment option for patients suffering from chronic pain that does not respond to other forms of treatment. The hockey puck-sized pump is surgically implanted into the abdomen and works by pumping medication directly into the area surrounding the spinal cord, known as the intrathecal space. The medication then works directly on pain receptors in the brain and spinal cord to alleviate the pain. Since it is dispensed continuously, the medicine is much more effective than if taken orally. As a result, less medication is required to control the pain and the patient experiences fewer side effects, such as nausea, drowsiness, constipation and mental fogginess.

After successfully undergoing surgery to have the pump implanted on September 18th and filled with medication a couple of weeks later, Melissa was finally able to get her pain under control. She credits the dedicated staff of the Neuromodulation Center with helping her get her life back. “Dr. Patel and Dr. Levine gave me something that I never thought was possible – a light at the end of a very dark tunnel,” said Melissa. “There are no words to truly express how thankful I am to have had these amazing doctors care for me.”

To learn more about the Lenox Hill Neuromodulation Center and the pain treatment options available, please call 212-434-3900.


About Lenox Hill Hospital

Lenox Hill Hospital is a member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, which is changing its name in January 2016 to Northwell Health. Lenox Hill is a 652-bed, fully accredited, acute care hospital located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. US News & World Report has ranked the hospital among the top 10 hospitals in the state of New York with a total of 6 “high performing” designations for its clinical performance in Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, Orthopedics and Urology . It is also recognized nationally as a leader in maternal/child health and offers a wide range of services in radiology, and medical and surgical specialties.  For more information, go to www.lenoxhillhospital.org.


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