Heather Crowe started experiencing migraines in junior high and suffered for year until becoming a nurse at the Erlanger-housed Plastic Surgery Group.
Dr. Jimmy Waldrop explained a new treatment option to Crowe, a surgical procedure that targeted trigger points in the face and head thought to cause migraine pain. Crowe underwent the treatment in December 2013 and says she is almost migraine-free now.
“Honestly, I’ve not had one in so long now, it’s kind of hard to remember having them so frequently,” Crowe commented to the University of Tennessee’s public radio station WUTC.
Many plastic surgeons are enthusiastic about the procedure. Chairman of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and professor at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Bahman Guyruon discovered the treatment over a decade ago. He now performs the surgery hundreds of times per year and has published 24 scientific articles about the procedure.
“It depends on your symptoms and type of migraine headaches that you have,” Guyuron explained to WUTC. “Close to 90 percent, the patients we have, that we operate on, have at least 50 percent reduction in their migraine headaches.”
Some neurologists question the validity of the procedure and research surrounding it, since it’s been published in plastic surgery journals rather than neurology journals.
“In our view, surgery for migraine is a last resort option and is probably not appropriate for most sufferers,” the American Headache Society issued a statement.
“I’m all for new, creative and innovative ways to treat this disorder, which is devastating for millions of people across the country,” Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. David Dodick, past president of the American Headache Society and the Chairman of the American Migraine Foundation, commented to WUTC. “But I also don’t want to expose them to a costly surgical procedure which may lead to adverse events, or adverse effects, we can’t control.”
Dr. Dodick also explained that more research is necessary in order to confirm that this procedure is effective for treating migraines.
“Let’s come together as an international community of experts, both on the migraine side as well as the plastic surgery side, and see if we can build consensus on a study design that we’re all comfortable with,” Dr. Dodick explained to WUTC.
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