Cosmetic Procedure Deemed Useful for Migraine Relief

Patients who underwent non-endoscopic trigger deactivation and cosmetic eyelid surgery reported an improvement in their migraines.

A team of surgeons at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center New Orleans’ School of Medicine noted an improvement in migraines in patients who underwent non-endoscopic trigger deactivation and cosmetic eyelid surgery, according to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Lisa Gfrerer, MD, and her colleagues performed non-endoscopic trigger deactivation surgery on 35 patients who experienced chronic nerve compression migraine headaches, confirmed by Botox or nerve blockers. The procedure is an alternative to an endoscopic surgery, which involves incisions down from the scalp and under the skin.

The researchers reported the surgery had a 90.7% positive response rate, and complete elimination of migraines in 51.3% of participants. The investigators also noted more than 20.5% of participants had more than an 80% reduction in symptoms, and another 28.2% reported between 50% and 80% relief in their symptoms. Though 9.3% of subjects claimed the procedure had no effect, the researchers wrote no patients experienced adverse events.

Furthermore, the surgeons performed an additional cosmetic eyelid surgery for the 90.7% of patients who underwent a successful non-endoscopic trigger deactivation. For patients who underwent the eyelid surgery, a select number experienced a release and deactivation of migraine nerves comparable to the non-endoscopic trigger deactivation procedure, the statement pointed out.

Based on their findings, the researchers claimed non-endoscopic surgical alternatives are favorable for surgeons who are less experienced, don’t have access to an endoscope, and are treating patients with unconventional anatomies. The investigators hope their study will highlight a treatment available for migraines, and improve use of the procedure.

"Surgery is a valid treatment for migraines in certain patients," Oren Tessler, MD, a LSU Health Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon and contributor to the study, said in a statement. "We believe that these patients should have ready access to migraine trigger site decompression surgery. Although larger studies are needed, we have shown that we can restore these patients to full and productive lives."