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Nip Tuck & Decompress: Migraine Plastic Surgery

April 24, 2012

A procedure that helps you feel and look fabulous?  It certainly sounds too good to be true, but it couldn’t hurt to learn a little bit more… After all, suffering with chronic migraine has caused you to spend way too much time in a darkened room, lying on your bed. Compounding your physical misery, are the visible signs of aging, caused by the exhaustion and stress from living with pain.

Dr. Bhaman Guyuron, Chairman of the plastic surgery department at University Hospital Case Medical Center in Cleveland, advanced the use of plastic surgery for migraine treatment about 12 years ago.  This nerve decompression procedure was discovered after several plastic surgery patients reported diminished migraine symptoms after undergoing cosmetic forehead lifts.  The surgery relieves pressure on the nerves behind the eyes, which are believed to be the source of migraine pain.

Migraine is sometimes described as a constellation of neurological symptoms including visual or motor disturbances prior to onset, nausea and disabling pain.  Chronic migraine, according to the American Headache Society occurs on at least 15 days of the month, and lasts at least 4 hours at a time.

In a study led by Dr. Guyuron in 2009, almost 85 percent of patients who underwent nerve decompression surgery reported at least a 50 percent decrease in migraine symptoms and frequency.  Almost 60 percent experienced elimination of all pain.  Dr. W.G. Austen, Jr., a plastic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, studied under Dr. Guyuron and now performs the migraine plastic surgery procedure.  He approximates that only about 5 percent of migraine sufferers are candidates for the migraine plastic surgery procedure. Candidates need to be under the treatment of a neurologist; experience at least one severe migraine each week; have exhausted conservative treatments; and be at least 18 years old.

If you continue to suffer with chronic migraine, despite avoiding known triggers, practicing stress relieving therapies and taking medications, plastic surgery for migraine symptoms may just be the long-lasting and aesthetic solution you might want to learn about some more.

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