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Surgery shown to relieve migraine headache

Posted Nov 16 2009 10:01pm
Treating trigger sites for migraine headache could offer hope for millions of sufferers. Women from all cultures and ethnicities are more often affected by migraine headaches than are men. Researchers followed 79 patients for five years who underwent surgery to eliminate trigger sites for migraine, finding that surgery could relieve or decrease migraine headache pain. Only eight patients experienced no change in migraine symptoms after receiving surgery for migraine headache.

The study, conducted by Bahman Guyuron, MD, Chairman of Plastic Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and an internationally recognized leader in the field of plastic surgery revealed that surgery can provide lasting migraine headache relief.

The surgery for migraine headache involves removing the trigger points in the muscles or nerves that produce pain. Frontal (headaches in the forehead area) are treated surgically by removing the muscle group that produces frowning and thought to compress nerves and produce inflammation.

For migraine headache that occurs in the temples, a small part of a nerve is removed (the trigeminal nerve). Dr. Guyuron found that migraine headaches from weather changes can be treated with surgery on the structures inside the nose, and those that occur in the back of the head can be eliminated by removing a small piece of muscle that surrounds a nerve and replacing it with soft tissue.

The surgery has been performed on 450 patients. The findings were presented October 24, 2009, at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual meeting.

Surgery could prove to be a valuable option that can eliminate pain and disability for those who suffer from severe migraine headaches that do not respond to medications and other conventional treatment. Migraine headaches can be severe and destroy quality of life. For some individuals, surgery might be the best option for lasting migraine headache relief.

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