Cosmetic eyelid surgery technique could provide significant relief from migraine, scientists say.
Dr Oren Tessler, from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, is part of a team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons who report a high success rate using a method to screen and select patients for a specific surgical migraine treatment technique.
More than 90 per cent of the patients who underwent this surgery to decompress the nerves that trigger migraines experienced relief, researchers claim.
The study confirms the benefit of surgical treatment for migraines and expands access to it.
The technique offers an alternative to the commonly used endoscopic approach which works down from the scalp under the skin.
There are many cases that are not suitable for this approach, ranging from the patient's anatomical issues to some surgeons' lack of access to endoscopes or experience with them, said researchers.
The research team found that, in a select group of patients, incisions through the upper eyelid resulted in equally effective release and deactivation of the nerves involved in migraines.
The researchers, who also included surgeons from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, report an overall positive response rate of 90.7 per cent.
Migraine headaches were totally eliminated in 51.3 per cent of the patients, with about a fifth of them experiencing an 80 per cent reduction of symptoms.
Nearly a third of the patients had between 50 and 80 per cent of their symptoms resolved.
Thirty-five patients participated in the study. All suffered from chronic nerve compression migraine headaches confirmed by previous positive response to Botox or nerve block treatments.
Migraine headaches can cause significant pain in one area of the head, often accompanied by nausea, and sensitivity to light and sounds.
The study was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.