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www.wmfd.com - Some 36-million Americans suffer from migraines, and a growing number are taking extreme measures to relieve the pain, by undergoing migraine surgery, so Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more now on this controversial treatment. }}" />

   
 
 
Desperation Drives Some Migraine Sufferers To Have Surgery

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 12/1/2013 Some 36-million Americans suffer from migraines. And a growing number are taking extreme measures to relieve the pain, by undergoing migraine surgery. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more now on this controversial treatment. "Hey guys, you k now, nearly 10 years ago, plastic surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic noticed something curious after performiong certain operations known as brow lifts", says CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "Some of the patients came back saying they used to have frequent migraines that then went away after the operations. Other surgeons becmae intrigued by this and they began to experiment, and today, they start to toss around this word cure or at least something close to it." "I just want to have a life," says Koren Has. "I operate on half a life." Koren Ha says she has about 15 good days a month. "Hold on!" The other 15 she deals with curshing migraine pain. "It feels like a boa constrictor around my head," she says. "It feels like a snake going like this. I tried oxygen tanks, I tried acupuncture, every migraine medication, every seizure medication, anti-depressent, everything." Well, almost everything. "And what are we doing for you today," asks Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, a plastic surgeon. "Surgery," answers Ha. "What kind of surgery?" the doctor asks. "Migraine surgery," she responds. Migraine surgery, a controversial treatment, for what many neurologists say is an intrinsically brain-based problem. "I'm just going to make a couple of marks," says Dr. Alizadeh. Korean's plastic surgeon says that tight muscles and connective tissue are literally choking her nerves, especially in the nech, and that may mark the beginning point of her migraines. So he plans to make incisions and remove bands of muscle in what he says are trigger points, frown lines around the eyes, the temples, the base of the skull, basically relieve the pressure. "We have patients who are almost 3-years out from surgery and they're still reporting no headaches," says Dr. Alizadeh. To be sure, migraine surgery has its detractors. The American Headache Society calls migraine surgery a last resort option that is not appropriate for most sufferers. We caught up with Koren 12 weeks after surgery. her headaches, she says, are down to three a month. "Three a month for me is very good," she says. "I had a tough recovery but it's definitely working for me." "Now it's safe to say many neurologists are still skeptical this can be a cure for migraines," says Dr. Gupta. "Dr. Alizadeh says the procedure can be very helful to a certain subgroup of patients. So to see a subject is a hood candidate, surgeons will often test by injecting lidocaine or botox into the suspected trigger points. If that helps, they say the operation can be a more permanant fix."
   
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