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A Legacy of Fighting Pain


Fighting Pain - Pain Management

Everything has a history. Every person has a background. Unfortunately, so often are we ingrained in our own present, we fail to think about what past course of events have shaped someone else. What experiences might have brought another individual to decide to tread their particular path in life?

A patient sitting in the waiting room of Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy’s Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute in Beverly Hills is most likely not dwelling on where the man who began the clinic came from or even why he does what he does. But it is his background—the road he traveled—that molded him into the man who many patients have come to trust as their deliverer from pain.

A Changing Homeland

Although Dr. Taimoorazy’s forebears had lived in Russia, his parents immigrated to Iran where he was born and raised in the country’s capital of Tehran. This had been during a period in which living in Iran was, by the doctor’s estimation, “like living in Paris… It was better than Europe.” After taking Iran’s equivalent of the Medical College Admission Tests—along with over a million other prospective doctors—he was one of only 300 accepted to the best medical school in the country, the University of Tehran. He then served his internship in what he refers to as “the Mayo Clinic of the Near East at that time.”

That time soon became one of war and pain. The war between Iran and Iraq had begun and Dr. Taimoorazy’s hospital was the funneling point of casualties from all the fronts of that struggle. It was a time of “major change,” he recalls.   Reluctantly, Dr. Taimoorazy left Iran because of his Christian faith.

Here history repeated itself. As Dr. Taimoorazy left his homeland behind, he mirrored his grandfather’s hegira from Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The arch-physician in the court of the czar, the elder Dr. Taimoorazy had known his ties to the former regime had made him a target, so he had sought haven to the south. Fortunately, as his expertise had been recognized in his new home, Dr. Taimoorazy the elder had been able to continue in the medical field, serving as a provincial surgeon general in Iran.

Some seventy years later, as his grandson left Iran under similar circumstances, the legacy of the Taimoorazy family continued.

A Fresh Start in the U.S.A.

Before coming to America, Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy lived for a short while in Germany. While there, he passed medical equivalency tests in order to reenter the medical field once he arrived in the states—a field he reentered without further hiatus. “I came to the U.S. on a Friday in September,” he recollects, “and Monday I had a residency in internal medicine already secured. I had nothing else to stop me from moving forward.”

America definitely proved to be the land of opportunity for the good doctor. After serving his residency in Chicago, he was offered work in Bloomington and has ever since been living and practicing in central Illinois.

That work has been far from stationary, however. For three years he worked as the staff anesthesiologist at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center. In 1998, he started Anesthesiology Consultants at what is now Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center. In 2006, he was voted Physician of the Year by the employees of that institution. In 2008, he penned a book entitled Before You Go Under—a compilation of answers to all the questions and concerns posed to him by patients before they underwent anesthesia and, subsequently, surgery.

Also as an aid to patients, as well as to the anesthesiologists who watch over them, Doctor Taimoorazy invented and patented a device which allows patients to breathe easily on their own while under anesthesia. Maintaining ties to his background, the doctor dubbed the device with a word from his native Assyrian language—Napas, meaning, literally, the breath.

Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute

With such a curriculum vitae as his, one would think Dr. Taimoorazy’s contributions to his field would be sufficient, but in February 2011, he opened the Guardian Pain Institute and a new era in pain management began.

Dr. Taimoorazy’s background as an anesthesiologist makes him an expert in the field. “Pain management is an extension of the specialty of anesthesiology,” he explains. “Anesthesiologists were the first ones to really start going into this field. Anesthesiology is really on the forefront of pain management.”

That statement is often put into practice at the Guardian Headache & Pain Management Institute, where the latest technology is utilized in managing, lessening or eliminating a patient’s chronic pain.

One such procedure is radiofrequency neurotomy. Real-time x-ray imaging and sophisticated nerve detecting machines are used to aid the doctor in pin-pointing the exact location of pain-causing nerves, at which point a radiofrequency machine generates heat at the tip of a needle in a neuro–disruptive or destructive procedure, effectively eradicating the source of the pain.

A number of spinal problems are also tackled: cervical and lumbar radiculopathy, where the nerve root branching off from the spinal cord is pinched or injured by other parts of the spine; facet joint syndrome, where facet joints along the spine become stressed or damaged, causing a loss of cartilage and, subsequently, bone spurs; and whiplash or cervical acceleration/deceleration (CAD), where the neck is rapidly forced beyond its normal range of motion, damaging ligaments, joints, vertebrae and muscles in the neck.

Other painful problems such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome are managed by varied techniques ranging from pharmacologic and physical techniques to the use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT).

Combating Head Pain

Where the Guardian Headache & Pain Management Institute really excels is in the treatment and management of a type of pain experienced by a vast proportion of the public: headaches. “The headache is something not a lot of physicians like to deal with: it’s very common, it’s a symptom of a lot of different things…it’s time consuming,” Dr. Taimoorazy explains. It is, therefore, the specific interest the institute takes in regards to headaches that makes it such a boon to chronic headache sufferers.

Not only do they treat secondary headaches—caused by trauma, disease, or metabolic disorders, but they also aid with the primary headaches: tension, migraine and cluster—the latter of which is recognized by a rapid onset of stabbing, debilitating pain. It was through an experience in treating a patient with these cluster headaches that helped Dr. Taimoorazy really realize the scope of relief and happiness his work can bring others.

This patient, a man who had suffered up to eight times a day every day for twenty years, came to the institute for help. His years of seeing specialists around the country had only netted him a list of prescription drugs and no relief.

But Dr. Taimoorazy approached this case as he does every case of chronic headaches—like a detective, “reconstructing the entire thing from the day that headache started…digging deeper and deeper,” he explains. “We find that a lot of misdiagnosed migraines are actually cervicogenic headaches. They are coming from the joints in the cervical spine; they have the exact same symptoms.”

This particular investigation allowed the doctor to aid the man so his fifty-plus headaches a week were reduced to only one—one minor enough to be treated by Tylenol. “Sometimes I don’t even believe it myself,” Dr. Taimoorazy beams. “Some of these results are beyond my wildest imagination.”

However, headaches are, as aforementioned, only one of the institute’s foci. “I hope we can build on it, become a larger institution,” the doctor aspires. “Focus not only on headaches but all types of chronic pain: back pain, neuropathic pain, cancer pain.”

As the fifteenth physician in his family line, the drive to heal runs in Dr. Taimoorazy’s veins. But even should his words presage the continuity of his family’s legacy, it is not necessarily in honor of his background or his family history that he perseveres and strives to excel in his labor.

“It’s very rewarding,” Dr. Taimoorazy admits. “It’s difficult work, but when you get to give the patient that degree of relief…I honestly feel awesome. That’s why I came to this field of medicine. To see this for myself and to enjoy, with the patient, this relief.”

For more information, you may contact Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy at Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute. This practice is located at Beverly Hills, CA

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