American Headache Society Urges Caution in Using Any Surgical Intervention in Migraine Treatment
AMERICAN HEADACHE SOCIETY® URGES CAUTION
IN USING ANY SURGICAL INTERVENTION IN MIGRAINE TREATMENT
MT ROYAL, NJ (April 13, 2012) – In light of several recent news items about the growing use of surgical interventions in migraine treatment, the American Headache Society has issued the following statement:
Unfortunately, there is no cure for migraine. Many therapies, including medications, alternative therapies and surgical interventions, are aimed at reducing migraine frequency or stopping the pain and associated symptoms after they’ve begun, but none are “cures”.
In light of recent news reports about the growing use of surgical intervention in migraine, the American Headache Society® is urging patients, healthcare professionals and migraine treatment specialists themselves, to exercise caution in recommending or seeking such therapy.
In our view, surgery for migraine is a last-resort option and is probably not appropriate for most sufferers. To date, there are no convincing or definitive data that show its long-term value. Besides replacing the use of more appropriate treatments, surgical intervention also may produce side effects that are not reversible and carry the risks associated with any surgery. It also can be extremely expensive and may not be covered by insurance. Most importantly, it may not work for you at all.
The hallmarks of good therapies are: proven results in randomized controlled trials with adequate numbers of subjects, data reviewed and published in established peer-reviewed publications, reproducible results by other investigators, regulatory approval where appropriate, and endorsement by key opinion leaders and professional organizations in the field of headache medicine and migraine.
The search for effective treatments and ultimately a cure for migraine is a primary goal of the American Headache Society and American Migraine Foundation. We will continue to advocate for the advancement of migraine science for the more than 36 million Americans and millions of others around the world who suffer with this sometimes highly disabling disease.
The American Headache Society® is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and facial pain. The Society's objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders. Educating physicians, health professionals and the public and encouraging scientific research are the primary functions of this organization. AHS activities include an annual scientific meeting, a comprehensive headache symposium, regional symposia for neurologists and family practice physicians, publication of the journal Headache and sponsorship of the AHS Committee for Headache Education (ACHE). www.americanheadachesociety.org
Some 36 million Americans suffer from migraine, more than have asthma or diabetes combined. Migraine is characterized by pulsating or throbbing headache pain which can be moderate to severe in intensity, as well as other neurological symptoms. Its severity can be extremely disabling for sufferers, painful enough to cause work loss and absence from activities with family and friends. Migraine costs the United States more than $20 billion each year. Costs are attributed to direct medical expenses (e.g. doctor visits, medications) and indirect expenses (e.g. missed work, lost productivity).