New Study Confirms Surgery Relief for Headache Pain

Procedure in Study is Also Performed at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction

A new study has found that surgery for temporal migraine headache provides excellent headache relief. This is the same surgery done by the nerve decompression specialists at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction. This revolutionary treatment, performed on an outpatient basis, is available only at a limited number of locations in the United States.

The study review was published in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The study, which included 246 patients undergoing surgery for temporal migraine headaches, was conducted at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland between 2000-2011.

Temporal migraine surgery was rated as successful in 85% of patients, with at least 50% improvement in temporal migraine headache. In 55% of patients, temporal headaches were eliminated completely.

Temporal refers to one of the headache trigger sites, specifically, emanating from the artery just under the temple, associated most often with pain at the temples. Other headache trigger sites include the occipital with a nerve on each side of the head, resulting in pain that radiates to back of the head and along the scalp, and frontal with pain in the forehead and in some cases the cheeks.

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 with 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.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, 36 million Americans or about 12% of the population suffer from migraine headaches. Migraine is 3 times more common in women than men and affects 30% of women over a lifetime. Chronic migraine indicates the presence of at least 15 days of headache each month for at least 6 months.

Our experts treat chronic migraines with both Botox and decompression surgery. Please contact The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction at The Plastic Surgery Center for a consultation to find out more about these exciting new treatments for migraine headaches.

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