Study Finds Both are Equally Effective Additions to the Treatment Armamentarium

A randomized trial of two surgical techniques found that both are “highly effective” in reducing temporal-type migraine severity and frequency. The results are reported in this month’s issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Both techniques focus on the nerve associated with temporal migraine, the zygomaticotemporal branch of the trigeminal nerve (ZTBTN), and involve either decompression or partial removal (neurectomy) of the nerve. Bahman Guyuron, MD, Emeritus professor of plastic surgery at Case School of Medicine, Cleveland, developed the procedures after observing that some patients with migraine experienced improvement in their symptoms after undergoing cosmetic forehead lift surgery. Neurectomy of the ZTBTN has been performed as part of several plastic and neurosurgery procedures for decades, with no apparent complications.

The trial involved 20 patients with temporal-type migraine, all of whom reported severe and frequent attacks that were not relieved by standard medications. Surgery was performed on both sides of the head, with decompression on one side and neurectomy on the other.  A comparison of outcomes performed a year after surgery found that in almost 90% of cases, the test subjects experienced a minimum of one half reduction in migraine frequency and severity. Further, the results were almost identical between sides, and no complications were reported from either procedure. Read more about the trial results, with link to the journal article, here.

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