Surgery for Migraines Has Long-Lasting Positive Impact

Five years after deactivation surgery many migraine sufferers have fewer migraines

FRIDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term follow-up indicates that surgical manipulation of migraine trigger sites can reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines, according to a study published in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Bahman Guyuron, M.D., from University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues analyzed data from 125 individuals with a diagnosis of migraine headaches, 100 of who were randomized to treatment, and 25 to a control group. The treatment group received botulinum toxin injections to confirm trigger sites while controls received a saline injection. Treated patients had surgery to deactivate trigger sites. Data was analyzed following a five-year follow-up for 79 of the 89 surgery-treated patients. Ten of these patients had undergone additional deactivation surgery and were excluded from the final analysis.

The investigators reported that after five years, 88 percent of the treated patients reported a positive response to surgery: 29 percent completely stopped having migraines, 59 percent had significant improvement, and 12 percent had no significant change. All measured variables improved significantly at 60 months compared to baseline values.

"This study not only confirms our findings from previous studies that the surgical treatment of migraine headaches in properly selected patients is likely to succeed but it also provides evidence that the obtained results are enduring," the authors write.

One of the authors developed the surgical treatment evaluated in this study.

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