Having migraine can be difficult as it interferes with a person's life, family and friends. For many sufferers, the normal over the counter medications just don't work for them. Dr. Lawrence Newman, a director of Headache Institute at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York said that migraine is a life-altering condition.
But now there may be hope for patients with migraines from a common plastic surgery procedure that was accidentally discovered by Dr. Bahman Guyuron, chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. Guyuron stated, I operated on a patient who came for a follow-up after a forehead life. Not only did she like the way she looked, she didn't have migraines headaches for six months since the surgery. Other patients that suffered from migraines before the surgery told him they had similar relief.
While the origins of these type of headaches are often a mystery, the research shows that the irritation of certain nerves in the face by nearby muscles might be to blame for some of the cases. Guyeron said that it would explain the improvement that his patients reported following their procedure because what he does is remove the muscles in the forehead that pinch the nerve.
Doctors have also noted that the patients that were treated with Botox often reported they had migraine relief. The researchers believe the Botox relieves the source of the migraines by paralyzing the muscles that surround the facial nerves. The next question is, could the forehead lift surgery offer a more permanent solution?
In Guyron's small, double-blind study, he treated the patients with migraines either with an operation that targeted three common areas the trigger migraines, or a fake sham surgery, which acted as a control for the study. A year after the surgery took place, approximately 57 percent of the patients in the actual surgery group reported the complete elimination of their headaches, while only 4 percent of the sham surgery group did.
However, some of the doctors said that the research findings may not be as conclusive as they appear at first look. While approximately 83 percent of the actual surgery group had a significant reduction in their migraine symptoms, so did approximately 57 percent of those that received the sham surgery.
Dr. Joel Saper, who is the director and founder of the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan, found that this high placebo response rate to the surgery is very troubling. Overall, the study raises more doubts than provides answers. Surgery should be a last resort, he stated.