The authors wrote in the study, “Migraine surgery may offer symptomatic improvement of migraine headache frequency, duration and severity in patients with identifiable anatomical trigger sites.”
Despite some speculations that the relief from these procedures might be a placebo effect, the researchers concluded that the effect of surgery is significant. The study can be viewed on their website Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Migraine is considered to be experienced by 8 percent of children and adolescents in the United States, which is according to the background information of the study.
Those who are suffering this condition have several options including over-the-counter drugs that can offer short-term pain but cannot provide a long-term solution.
Dr. Bahman Guyuron developed the techniques for the said surgery. He is an emeritus professor of plastic surgery at Case Western University. This procedure decompresses a nerve or releases a trigger point that is believed to cause the migraine. It was developed after it was noticed that the patients who has undergone some cosmetic procedures had fewer headaches later on.
The patients were asked to keep a journal of their migraine episodes and to write down where the headaches occur. The trigger site was determined through the injection of a local anesthetic at the area and was then observed whether the migraine eased up or not. A Doppler ultrasound device was used to check blood vessels that might limit the flow on the nerves.
It took the team of doctors three years to follow up on these cases. Among the patients, five of them became totally free of migraine. For those still with the symptoms, the frequency over a 30-day period greatly reduced from 25 times to 5. Only one patient did not have a lesser frequency of the migraine symptoms but the severity was not as bad and the duration was shorter.
Dr. Guyuron stated that surgery among teenagers must be considered as the last resort in looking for relief from migraines. “Some teenagers outgrow migraine headaches,” he said. It is important to look at pattern of migraines in the family. If family members have migraines that continue past the teen years, “it is almost a given that the teenager will continue to have migraines in adulthood.”