August 2, 2009

Cosmetic surgery may ease migraine

Surgery similar to a cosmetic forehead lift may lessen migraine symptoms, U.S. plastic surgeons say.

The surgery incapacitates muscles that trigger trigeminal nerve branches. In a double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial, migraine symptoms were reduced by 50 percent in 83 percent of the patients receiving the surgery.

In this study, we've shown that surgical treatment of migraine headaches is safe, effective, and that this reasonably short operation can have a colossal impact on the patients' quality of life -- all while eliminating signs of aging for some patients, too, study author Dr. Bahman Guyuron of University Hospitals Case Medical Center says in a statement.

The placebo group also had a high incidence of symptom improvement -- 57 percent, the study says. However, the difference was statistically significant.

Moreover, a year after the surgery, 57 percent of the group receiving the surgery had symptom improvement compared to 4 per cent in the placebo group.

The study, published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, involved 75 patients -- 49 of whom received the actual surgery and 26 who received a sham-surgery placebo treatment.