February 19, 2020

Surgical Intervention to Treat Migraine Trigger Sites

A new study on migraine headaches has yielded some potentially dramatic results for migraine sufferers.  Dr. Bahman Guyoron, Chairman of Plastic Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, authored the study.   He is an internationally recognized leader in the field of plastic surgery.

The study followed 79 migraine sufferers for at least five years after these participants had undergone detection of migraine “trigger sites.” Once these trigger sites were identified, the participants underwent surgery to treat these trigger sites.  For instance, for patients who experience frontal migraine headaches, Dr. Guyoron removed the corrugator supercilii (frowning muscles) in the forehead.  Temple migraine headaches were treated by removing a portion of the trigeminal nerve.  Occiptal headaches (felt in the back of the head) were treated by removing a small piece of muscle encasing the occipital nerve and replacing it with a soft tissue flap.  Lastly, for those suffering from migraine headaches that are felt behind the eyes, often caused by changes in weather, Dr. Guyoron worked on the nose septum and surrounding structures.

The results of this five year study were quite promising.  Some participants were removed from the study for various reasons. Of the remaining participants, 88 percent have maintained the initial positive response to the surgery.  29 percent of the participants reported elimination of migraines entirely.  59 percent of patients noticed a significant decrease in their symptoms, and only 11 percent experienced less than a 50 percent improvement or no change at all.   Clearly, the data provides strong evidence that surgical manipulation of migraine trigger sites can improve symptoms for migraine sufferers.

If you experience migraines regularly, you may consider discussing this study with your doctor.  Migraines can be quite debilitating, but the results of this study indicate that surgical manipulation of your trigger sites could go a very long way in eliminating the role headaches play in your life.