Anyone who suffers from migraines knows just how debilitating and frustrating the pain can be. Unlike common headaches, which can often be successfully treated by taking a few over-the-counter pills, a migraine is much more difficult to address. Alternative therapies suggest things like meditation or escaping to a dark place, and a few over-the-counter medications offer mild relief for a limited number of individuals.
A new surgical treatment with the potential for greater relief, however, has started making headlines across the country. Performed by plastic surgeons, the procedure is still in its infancy. The results of an early study by the inventor of the procedure, Dr. Bahman Guyuron, was published in the February 2011 issue of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons' journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The findings show huge potential for the future of this procedure.
The survey followed 100 people for five years following the surgery. More than 90% of the people had a significant reduction in the amount of migraines they experienced post-surgery. In fact, the frequency had dropped by at least 50%. Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that some 70% of the study's participants claimed their problems had stopped completely.
During this procedure, the muscle surrounding targeted nerves is removed and replaced with the patient's own fat. In return, pressure is removed from the nerves, relieving the trigger for pain. Nerves targeted during the surgery can be located in four places, behind the eyebrows, close to the temples, in the nasal passages, or on the back of the head. Surgeons identify where pain starts for each patient in order to determine which nerves should be altered in surgery.
As a new procedure, testing and research will continue to prove its effectiveness. With early results this positive, it's certain that more surgeons will seek training in the procedure in order to offer it to their clients.
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