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Surgery Helps Relieve Migraines

Removing key muscles cut severity of attacks in 92 percent of patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 30, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Surgical treatment of migraine reduced missed work days by 73 percent and significantly lowered the annual cost of migraine care for patients, according to a study in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

The patients in the study were injected with Botox to determine which muscles in their forehead or back of their head triggered their migraines. Once the muscles were pinpointed, they were surgically removed.

The surgery eliminated migraines in 35 percent of the patients and reduced the frequency, intensity or duration of migraines in 92 percent of the patients.

Before the surgery, the migraine patients missed an average of 4.4 days of work per month. Following the surgery, they missed an average of 1.2 days a month. The patients' annual out-of-pocket expenses for migraine treatment was reduced from about $7,612 to $925.

"The economic impact of migraine headaches on American businesses is staggering due to the loss of employee time and productivity each year," study author Dr. Bahman Guyuron, a clinical professor of plastic surgery at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said in a prepared statement.

"By identifying the trigger areas for migraines and performing targeted surgical procedures, we significantly reduced or eliminated their migraines and the amount of time missed from work," Guyuron said.

More information

The National Headache Foundation has more about migraine.

SOURCE: American Society of Plastic Surgeons, news release, Dec. 30, 2004
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