Forehead Lift Cures Migraine Patients
But Surgery Only Performed on Hard-to-Treat Migraine Patients
Surgery Not for Everyone continued...
“We are talking about 10% to 15% of migraine patients who would be good candidates for surgery,” he says.
Neurologist Richard B. Lipton, MD, who directs the headache unit at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, says the study’s design and its dramatic outcome helped convince him the surgical approach is legitimate.
“I started out quite skeptical about this,” he says. “But despite my best efforts not to be, I’m pretty excited about the results.”
Lipton did express concern that the study participants may have actually known which treatment they were getting, which might have affected the results.
Alexander Mauskop, MD, who directs the New York Headache Center, had the same reservation about the trial.
Mauskop was one of the first headache specialists in the nation to routinely use Botox for migraines, and he now treats between 60 and 70 patients a month, with a 70% response rate.
Patients typically get Botox injections every three months, at a cost of $750 to $1,000 per injection.
“The problem I have with surgery is that headaches come and go,” he says. “They may go away with menopause or at some other time. Surgery is a permanent treatment for a condition that is rarely permanent.”
Mauskop offers his patients many treatment options ranging from traditional drug therapies to alternative approaches like acupuncture.
Robert Kunkel, MD, has treated migraines for four decades at the Cleveland Clinic, and he serves on the board of the National Headache Foundation.
He tells WebMD he has seen several surgical approaches come and go during his career.
“There is always a lot of excitement, but none has really lasted,” he says.
But Porter says there is no doubt in her mind that, like her, many, many patients with intractable migraines can be helped with the surgery.
“It completely changed my life,” she says. “I went back to see Dr. Guyuron for checkups for seven years, first every month and then less frequently. And he and I both got teary-eyed every time I went in.”