Migraine Surgery Found Effective For Teens With Severe Headaches

A recent study indicates that new surgery options for may be beneficial for teens with severe migraines that don’t respond to typical treatments, a young migraine surgery may be beneficial.

Researchers of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) note in a news release that the surgery works via “trigger sites” in the nerve branches that produce headaches, identified by preoperative evaluation.

“Our data demonstrate that surgery for refractory migraine headaches in the adolescent population may improve and potentially completely ameliorate symptoms for some,” researchers state. The trigger sites are detected based on a constellation of symptoms, including nerve blocks, ultrasound doppler and CT scans.

The surgery was conducted in 14 patients under the age of 18, including 11 females and three males, the average of 16 years old, some of which had reduced headache activity after undergoing cosmetic forehead procedures from 2000. All patients experienced debilitating migraine attacks that continued despite recommended medications, Average follow­up was about three years, and at least one year in all patients.

The findings revealed that the surgery was highly effective in reducing migraines, and that the average headache frequency decreased from 25 per month before surgery to five per month afterward. Participants indicated that the average migraine severity score then decreased from 8.2 to 4.3 on a ten­point scale, and that the average migraine times also decreased from about 12 to 4 hours. Additionally, 5 of the 14 patients reported being migraine­free following surgery, while one patient had no change in migraine frequency but less attacks over shorter periods.

Bahman Guyuron, MD Emeritus professor of plastic surgery at Case School of Medicine, Cleveland noted that “identifying the adolescent patient who would benefit from surgery is the most important aspect of surgical intervention” and that he and his colleagues emphasized the need for “more in­depth and prospective studies” to confirm the effectiveness of migraine surgery, and to weigh the risks and benefits of surgery for younger patients.