Plastic Surgery May Also Ease Migraines

Posted on September 3rd, 2009 by Kelley Luckstein

MANY of the nearly 30 million Americans who suffer from migraines end up feeling like guinea pigs.migraine Chronic patients — those who are laid low 15 or more days a month — often cycle through drug after drug in search of relief. They also contend with side effects like mental sluggishness and stomach upset. Treatment involves guesswork because doctors have not pinpointed what causes migraines, nor do they know which drugs will best help which patients…

 

No wonder that earlier last month, news of a surgical “cure” that touts a high success rate ricocheted worldwide. The double-blind study, published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, found that more than 80 percent of patients who underwent surgery in one of three “trigger sites” significantly reduced their number of headaches compared with more than 55 percent of the group who had sham surgery. More than half of the patients with the real surgery reported a “complete elimination” of headaches compared with about 4 percent of the placebo group…

 

Some doctors fear that the surgery may be offered to inappropriate patients before further research confirms its efficacy for a broader group of patients. “I don’t want us to overshoot and start doing widespread surgeries in not very well selected patients until we are convinced this is broadly effective,” said Dr. F. Michael Cutrer, the chief of the headache division in the neurology department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “You can always stop a medication but you can’t reverse a surgery.” As word of the surgery spreads, Dr. Cutrer said that he anticipated pleas for referrals to the few plastic surgeons nationwide who offer the operations, but that “until we maybe have studies that are a bit larger, and some longer follow-up I’m going to be very cautious.”

 

NY Times by Catherine Saint Louis, 09/03/09

Tags: migraines, Neurology, Neurology, Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery

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