Long-term cure for migraine headaches

New techniques that deactivate trigger sites of migraine headaches produce over 90% positive results, giving hope for more than 30 million Americans for relief from debilitating pain and loss of productivity. Migraines impose an economic burden of an estimated $14 billion from lost work and medication costs.

In research headed by Dr. Bahman Guyuron, Chairman of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, 69 patients who underwent surgery for migraines were followed for a period of five years. Nearly 30% reported complete elimination of migraines and 59% experienced reduction of pain (at least 50% reduction) as to frequency, duration and intensity. Originally, there were 10 more patients who received treatment but had an additional deactivation procedure for differently located trigger site(s). They were not included in the final analysis although they were already showing significant improvement before the second procedure.

The surgery techniques were developed after Dr. Brahman observed that many patients were relieved of their migraines following a cosmetic forehead lift or facial rejuvenation treatment. The migraine treatment has been the subject of Dr. Brahman and his team’s previous related studies over the last 10 years.
The surgery techniques involve “deactivation” or removal of trigger sites in the muscles or nerves that are the source of pain. When muscles or the nerves supplying these areas stop working, they no longer cause pressure or tension on the trigger sites. This is seen with the relief found after Botox® treatments, which cause temporary paralysis of specific facial muscles. The new migraine surgery techniques, however, offer permanent cure especially to the one-third of migraine sufferers who do not respond well to current treatments.

For forehead migraines, the frowning muscles that compress the nerve on the area (which causes inflammation) are removed, as in forehead-lift surgery. This gives the additional benefit of erasing creases and wrinkles on the frontal area brought by aging and constant frowning.

Headaches in the temple area are managed by removal of the small branch of the trigeminal nerve. For patients having migraines at the back of the head (occipital trigger site), the occipital nerve is decompressed by removing its small muscle enclosure and replaced with a soft tissue flap. Nasal trigger sites behind the eyes triggered by weather change are treated by fixing the nasal septum that separates the two nasal cavities.

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