Study leader Dr. Bahman Guyuron of University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland says almost 30 percent of patients no longer suffered from migraine headaches after surgery.
Guyuron, a plastic surgeon, developed the migraine surgery techniques after noticing that some migraine patients had reduced headache activity after a cosmetic forehead-lift procedures. The techniques consist of "surgical deactivation" of "trigger sites" in the muscles or nerves that produce pain, Guyuron says.
The study, published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, finds 29 percent of patients said surgery eliminated migraine headaches and 59 percent reported significant decreases during the five years following surgery. The remaining patients reported no change in headache activity.
Guyuron and colleagues first tested the 69 migraine patients in their study with botulinum toxin A -- Botox -- to confirm the correct trigger sites. For most, surgery targeted at least two trigger sites.
"The findings provide strong evidence that surgical deactivation of one or more trigger sites can successfully eliminate or reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraine headache, and the results are enduring," Guyuron and colleagues say in a statement.
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