Migraine headaches are a common issue among children and adolescents. It has a significant impact on mental and physical health for patients and their families. A new study has revealed that migraine surgery is effective among selected adolescent patients who do not respond to standard treatment. Scientists have reported good outcomes in an initial experience with migraine surgery in younger patients.
Dr. Guyuron developed the migraine surgery technique after noticing that some migraine patients had reduced headache activity after undergoing cosmetic forehead lift procedures going back to year 2000. The surgery targets the 'trigger sites' in the nerve branches that produce headaches. These trigger sites are detected using a constellation of symptoms, nerve blocks, ultrasound Doppler and CT scans.
Dr. Bahman Guyuron, emeritus professor of plastic surgery at Case School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, said, "Our data demonstrate that surgery for refractory migraine headaches in the adolescent population may improve and potentially completely ameliorate symptoms for some."
For the study, the research team observed 14 teen patients, 11 females and three males, with an average age 16 years. All the teenagers had debilitating migraine attacks that continued despite recommended medications. It was observed that the average headache frequency decreased from 25 per month before surgery to five per month afterward.
Dr. Guyuron said, "This represents a large group of adolescent migraine patients with continued symptoms in spite of specialized medical treatment. Although the experience is small and preliminary, the results suggest that migraine surgery, like in adults, is safe and effective in teenaged patients. Identifying the adolescent patient who would benefit from surgery is the most important aspect of surgical intervention."
The study was published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.