Forehead Lift Cures Migraine Patients
But Surgery Only Performed on Hard-to-Treat Migraine Patients
WebMD News Archive
Forehead Lift Lifts Migraines continued...
In all, 49 patients had the actual surgery and 26 had the sham surgery.
One year later, 83% of the actual surgery group reported at least a 50% reduction in migraines, compared to 57% of the sham surgery group.
Even more surprising, 57% of actual surgery patients reported complete elimination of migraines, compared to just 4% of sham surgery patients.
The study appears in the August issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
“You don’t see results like this in migraine studies,” Guyuron says. “Even the most skeptical people will have to accept there is something to this.”
Surgery Not for Everyone
But surgery is not a good option for patients who have infrequent migraines and those who respond to preventive treatments, he says.
“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.