Migraine Surgery for Those Under 18: Initial Results Mirror Adult Successful Outcomes

A study reported in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery concludes that migraine surgery is an effective treatment in selected adolescent patients for refractory severe migraine headache. The study found that the approach may, as for adults, improve or completely resolve symptoms for some younger migraine sufferers. The surgery targets "trigger sites" in the nerve branches that produce headaches, identified by preoperative evaluation. Trigger sites are detected using a constellation of symptoms, nerve blocks, ultrasound Doppler and CT scans. The migraine surgical technique was developed by Bahman Guyuron, MD, Emeritus professor of plastic surgery at Case School of Medicine, Cleveland, after noticing that some migraine patients had reduced headache activity after undergoing cosmetic forehead lift procedures going back to year 2000.

The conclusions are based on the experience of Guyuron and colleagues with migraine surgery in 14 patients under age 18. All had debilitating migraine attacks that continued despite recommended medications. The patients were 11 females and 3 males, average age 16 years. One patient underwent 2 procedures targeting different trigger sites. Average follow-up was about 3 years, with a minimum of 1 year, in all patients. The surgery was highly effective in reducing migraine headaches. Average headache frequency decreased from 25 per month before surgery to 5 per month afterward. Average migraine severity score decreased from 8.2 to 4.3 on a 10-point scale. The researchers emphasized the need for "more in-depth and prospective studies" to confirm the effectiveness of migraine surgery, and to weigh the risks and benefits of surgery for younger patients.

To read about new migraine treatment guidelines, click here.

To read about migraine aura, click here.

To read about migraine as a possible compression neuropathy, click here.

For a link to information from the American Migraine Foundation and parent/caregiver guidance, click here.

Read a news story about the study findings mention above, with link to the full article here.



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