The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction is on the cutting-edge of migraine treatments, among the few offering specialized procedures in the New Jersey/New York regional area. In fact, our practice has drawn patients from around the country (and even internationally) for various procedures.
There are 28 million migraine sufferers in the United States, one-third of whom find little or no benefit from traditional medical therapies. These individuals often endure severe bouts of debilitating migraine headaches, resulting in frequent work absences and withdrawal from daily activities.
One condition which causes similar problems to migraine headaches, but may respond very differently to certain forms of treatment, is Occipital Neuralgia. For more information, please see Occipital Neuralgia Treatment vs. Migraine Headache Treatment.
If you suffer from migraine headaches more than 14 days per month, the Plastic Surgery Center/The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction’s board-certified plastic surgery specialists provide Botox® injections to alleviate the debilitating pain of migraine headache. The FDA-approved (as of Oct. 2010) approach to migraine treatment involves administering injections around the head and neck at intervals of about 12 weeks. With Botox® for migraines, you can reasonably expect fewer, less severe migraine headaches for up to three months, with rarely any side effects. However, the FDA says Botox® does not appear to be useful in treating or preventing less frequent migraines that occur 14 days or less per month or other forms of headache.
Recent evidence shows that Botox® may be an effective migraine treatment when injected into certain areas in the head and neck known as “trigger points”. Although Botox® injections must be repeated at regular intervals, many patients have reported a greater than 50% reduction in the frequency and intensity of their migraine headaches. Some patients have even noted a complete elimination of migraine headaches altogether. In our practice, patients have reported major reductions or complete elimination of migraine headaches after treatment with Botox®.
“Migraine headaches can be a debilitating condition, which is often difficult to treat with medication,” says Dr. Matthew Kaufman, of the Plastic Surgery Center/The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction. “We have been very encouraged by patients’ success in receiving Botox® for migraine treatment and believe the FDA’s approval for Botox® has implications to help the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer chronic migraines.”
Certain types of migraines and headache conditions respond to Botox® better than others. Only a physician experienced in treating migraines with Botox® will be able to determine if someone is a candidate for this type of treatment. Contact The Plastic Surgery Center for a consultation to determine if Botox® is the right treatment for you.
Dr. Kaufman, who trained in the very first specialty course offered by a worldwide expert for migraine treatment with Botox® and nerve decompression surgery, is part of the medical team at the Plastic Surgery Center/The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, which is comprised of a group of surgeons who are highly skilled in nerve transplantation and advanced reconstruction. They perform a number of unique operations to help patients suffering from life-altering medical conditions who are often unaware that a treatment is available.
Dr. Kaufman’s blog on Botox® Treatment for migraine headaches can be found here.
BOTOX® is already approved by the FDA to treat uncontrolled blinking; crossed eyes; certain neck muscle spasms; excessive underarm sweating; and stiffness associated with muscle spasticity in the elbows and hands. It also is approved for cosmetic purposes — to smooth lines between the eyebrows. The same formulation of BOTOX® used for migraine headache treatment was approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of facial frown lines.
Botox® acts to block receptors that control muscle contraction, thus relaxing or paralyzing muscles. It is theorized that in regions of certain migraine ”trigger points”, nerves are compressed or irritated by excessive muscle contraction. These irritated nerves release inflammatory chemicals into the blood vessels of the head and neck that may contribute to chronic migraine headaches. By relaxing the muscles in one or more areas of nerve compression, the source of nerve irritation is alleviated, and the resulting migraine will be reduced or eliminated. While this theory underlies the rationale for treating migraine headaches with Botox®, nobody is actually sure of the mechanism by which migraines occur.
It stands to reason that nerve decompression specialists at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction would offer this revolutionary treatment, available at only a limited number of locations in the United States.
A surgical procedure is offered to those patients who benefit from Botox® therapy, as an intended permanent way of reducing or eliminating migraine headaches. The surgery is performed as a “minimally invasive procedure” – no visible scarring–and involves releasing one or more of the “trigger points” involved in the inflammatory process resulting in migraine headaches. The process of releasing the trigger points is called “trigger point surgery” or “nerve decompression surgery”. Specifically, our specialists in nerve decompression surgery will reduce or eliminate the migraine trigger point by microscopically freeing the nerve from compression caused by adjacent muscles and fibrous tissue. The goal, in most cases, is to preserve nerve function while eliminating the source of nerve irritation. Multiple trigger point sites can safely be addressed in one procedure. The number of trigger point locations to operate on is based upon each patients’ symptoms, and in which locations Botox® therapy has been previously effective.
The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and patients often return to work within one week. Patients must have had a recent exam by a neurologist and MRI in order to qualify. Please contact our office for a free consultation to find out more about these exciting new treatments for migraine headaches.
Read more on Migraine Headaches in our patient stories: