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ABC on Migraine: It Gets Worse

Apparently the first two reports in ABC’s series on migraine weren’t damaging enough, so the third was used to bring the point home. My summation of the thesis: migraineurs have lots of foolproof treatment options, but they’d prefer to take narcotics than treat their suffering. We’re a bunch of degenerates, aren’t we?

A story on a nasal surgery to treat migraine is the last (I hope) installment of the “in-depth” migraine coverage. The first mention of the surgery, which the story only gives a cursory description of, says that it’s “simple.” As far as my body is concerned, no surgery is simple.

A surgeon who performs this surgery is quoted as saying that a patient’s migraines “will be much, much less than they were before, and she doesn’t need migraine medication.” Excuse me, will be less? How can such a prediction be made before a patient’s surgery? I’m all for a doc being confident, but no surgeon should say that a patient will be almost symptom-free from a procedure before it has been performed.

Fortunately for the surgeon, the patient’s reported results match his bold assertion. She also claims that she can now drink wine and chocolate without fear of a migraine. I’m happy for her, but can’t understand why these particular triggers would become completely insignificant once pressure in the top of her nose was relieved.

Furthermore, one patient’s experience with a treatment does not a generalizable solution make. The most frustrating part is that a study on the potential benefits of this nasal surgery have been reported in medical journals in the last year. The data are widely available, but aren’t deemed necessary to support the “facts.”

ABC makes a redeeming gesture by quoting a vice president of Johnson & Johnson. (Although it’s bizarre that someone whose job is unrelated to the surgical procedure is quoted as an expert on the topic.) She says that a small portion of migraine sufferers could probably benefit from the surgery and recommends asking a lot of questions before going under the knife.

This is particularly beneficial because the article mentions that “nasal surgery can lead to complications,” without telling us what any of the complications are.

Half-hearted reporting hooks desperate people into uncertain treatments, whether they are offered any conventional or alternative medicine. The fewer answers a report offers, the more factual it sounds. Many desperate people don’t ask questions; they just want a solution.

It’s not unlike infomercials that prey on viewers’ insecurities. The solution to their problems is just a phone call away. Even better — unlike “nutrition” drinks or a Bowflex, your insurance may pay for this fix.

4 Responses to ABC on Migraine: It Gets Worse

  1. PamC says:

    Do you think we could sue for defamation of character?

  2. Kerrie says:

    If their legal department were not huge, I might consider it!

    If any of you are willing and able, it would be great to have this post passed on to ABC as many times as possible. Both the ABC entity and your local stations. If they see it enough, they may act on it.

  3. katy says:

    I’m still floored that they don’t even name the surgery. Apparantly there is only one suregery on the nose and it’s called “nasal”

    good grief.

  4. Diana says:

    ABC officially sucks. 🙁

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