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Surgical Treatment of Migraine Headache: Back to the Future

Gfrerer, Lisa, M.D., Ph.D.; Raposio, Edoardo, M.D., Ph.D.; Ortiz, Ricardo, B.S.; Austen, William Gerald Jr, M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: October 2018 - Volume 142 - Issue 4 - p 1036-1045
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004795
Reconstructive: Head and Neck: Special Topic
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Summary: Understanding the history and evolution of ideas is key to developing an understanding of complex phenomena and is the foundation for surgical innovation. This historical review on migraine surgery takes us back to the beginnings of interventional management for migraine centuries ago, and reflects on present practices to highlight how far we have come. From Al-Zahrawi and Ambroise Paré to Bahman Guyuron, two common themes of the past and present have emerged in the treatment of migraine headache. Extracranial treatment of both nerves and vessels is being performed and analyzed, with no consensus among current practitioners as to which structure is involved. Knowledge of past theories and new insights will help guide our efforts in the future. One thing is clear: Where we are going, there are no roads. At least not yet.

Boston, Mass.; and Parma, Italy

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School; and the Plastic Surgery Unit, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma.

Received for publication December 3, 2017; accepted April 24, 2018.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

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William Gerald Austen, Jr., M.D., Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, 15 Parkman Street, WACC 435, Boston, Mass. 02114,

Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons