The treatment involves a sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) block that does not need needles. It uses a small, flexible catheter that is put into each nostril that delivers a local anesthetic to the SPG, which has often been considered the nerve bundle that causes migraines, that is in the back of the nose. The treatment disables the SPG and resets the headache circuit, reducing the need for migraine medication since it has an almost immediate effect. The treatment can also last for months at a time.
“This treatment, performed in an outpatient setting by an interventional radiologist, can safely relieve a child’s migraine quickly,” Dr. Robin Kaye, section chief of interventional radiology in the department of medical imaging at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said in a press release. “By reducing the need for medications that come with serious side effects or intravenous therapies that may require hospital stays, children don’t have to miss as much school and can get back to being a kid sooner.”