PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. And for some, medication doesn’t help.
Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl is On Your Side with more on a new approach that may cure migraines.
They cause throbbing, debilitating pain. Dale Eadeh knows the agony of migraines all too well. His would last for days at a time.
“I couldn’t take the light. I would sit at my desk blinking, pressure points here, the whole side of my head I would stutter,” said Dale.
He tried a variety of treatments, without much success. But Botox injections in the face and scalp, did bring some relief.
“If we can go in there with Botox, and relax the muscles around these nerves, are we able to help these patients by taking away the trigger mechanism that puts pressure on these nerves,” said Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, a Plastic Surgeon.
And now there’s a surgery that also targets the muscles that cause migraines. The surgery was developed by Dr. Bahman Guyuron. The muscles that compress nerves are removed.
“If we can go there physically and release these muscles surgically, we can potentially cause a cure for these patients,” said Dr. Alizadeh.
Dale had the surgery a month ago and is migraine free. He says he would have had five or six major migraines by now.
“That’s a week, that’s two weeks, that’s three weeks, that’s a month of no migraines. Phenomenal. I’m actually believing now that it’s going to last,” said Dale.
Published studies show the surgery offers relief in up to 80 percent of migraine sufferers, and so far the headaches are reduced for at least five years.
Not all health insurance covers this surgery, and it costs about $10,000 if you have to pay out of pocket.
Dr. Drew Tuckman in Paramus, New Jersey offers the surgical treatment.
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3