Statistically speaking, 30 million people living in the USA suffer from migraines. That’s the same as 10% of the entire US population! In fact, one in four households has a family member that is troubled by migraines.
Unfortunately for most migraine sufferers, over the counter medications do not cut it for them. According to Dr. Lawrence Newman, this is not uncommon. The Director of the Headache Institute at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, Dr Newman explains:
“There is a subset of patients who have what we call chronic migraines. Many of those people are quite treatment resistant. Why? We’re not really sure. I tell our patients it is a life-altering condition. Having a migraine interferes with the person’s life, their family members, their friends, their co-workers.”
However, a new procedure may change all of that, albeit a bit unconventional. A very common plastic surgery procedure may be the key to eradicating the common migraine forever. Dr. Bahman Guyuron, the chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, apparently came upon this breakthrough quite by accident. Dr. Guyuron explained:
“I operated on a patient who came for a follow-up after a forehead life. Not only did she like the way she looked, she didn’t have migraines headaches for six months since the surgery.”
Numerous other patients of Dr. Guyuron also admitted to him that their migraines had stopped after they had received the surgery to lift their foreheads.
Even though, for most patients, the triggers for migraines are unknown, research has indicated that they are usually caused by the irritation of specific nerves in the face by muscles that are close by.
This clearly explains to Dr. Guyuron, how it is that his patients migraines seemingly disappeared after the surgery. The forehead lift that Dr. Guyuron performs actually removes the muscles from the forehead. These are the same muscles that pinch the specific nerves that cause migraines.
If having plastic surgery is just not your cup of tea, perhaps you should give Botox a try. After receiving Botox treatments, quite a few patients have noted that they have had migraine relief. Reason being, it seems, is that Botox paralyzes the muscles surrounding the same facial nerves that become irritated, which in turn causes a migraine to hit.
However, Dr. Guyuron conducted a double blind study in order to determine whether the forehead lift offered a permanent solution in migraine relief. Dr. Guyuron started by treating migraine sufferers with either a mock surgery, or with a surgery targeting three of the most common nerve areas that trigger migraines.
One year later, nearly 57% of the test patients who had received the targeted surgery stated that they had had no migraines since the surgery. Only about 4% of the test patients who had the mock surgery stated that they were migraine free.
Since the results of Dr. Guyuron’s study have been made public, there has been quite a bit of a positive reactions by other pain specialists. One such specialist, Dr. Richard Lipton, the Director of the Montefiore Headache Center in New York, explained that the study presented, ‘fascinating and promising results’ that could be extremely beneficial to migraines sufferers who are unable to take over the counter medication, Botox or who have been unsuccessful and eliminating their migraine pain using any other medical method.
Any negative reaction about the study has revolved around the fact that it may not appear to be as conclusive at first glance. Even though nearly 83% of the test patients, who had received the real surgery, claimed that they were migraine-free, nearly 57% of the test patients who had received the fake surgery claimed the same thing.
Director and founder of the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Dr. Joel Saper, has established that the results concerning the high placebo success rate to the fake surgery was quite disturbing, explaining:
“Overall, the study raises more doubts than provides answers. Surgery should be a last resort.”
Professor of Neurology at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine in Burlington, Dr. Robert Shapiro, concurs with Dr. Saper. Dr. Shapiro believes that the percentage of patients, who had received the fake surgery that claimed to be migraine free, was cause for concern in that the procedure itself needed to be reevaluated and further studied.
“It would be unfortunate if large numbers of migraines sufferers underwent expensive and potentially hazardous surgery which was actually no more effective than sham surgery. This study does not allow a conclusion to be drawn about the effectiveness of the surgeries performed.”
Photo Credit: pvera