New Procedure Could Help Headache Sufferers
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (CBS) â€• Some doctors in Britain say a new procedure could help bring relief to sufferers of debilitating headaches, CBS station KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh reports.
A cosmetic surgery for wrinkles is now be being used to stop migraines. Dr. Thomas Muehlberger, a plastic surgeon, said it involves a muscle in the forehead that's removed to reduce frown lines.
Experts say it is called the corrugator muscle which lies between the branches of a nerve. Doctors say by taking out the muscle pressure on the nerve is released, and with it, the cause of the headaches.
But experts say it's not for everyone. To find out if a patient is a candidate, doctors first say they use another wrinkle fighter, Botox, to paralyze the muscle.
If in a couple of weeks the patient feels migraine relief, they can have the surgery.
The procedure was discovered in the United States, but doctors overseas are the first to offer it on a widespread basis and a new clinic has just opened in London.
Experts say small studies have shown the treatment is effective. Still, many experts say they aren't completely sold.
“One of the precursors to the treatment is to have Botox injections to see if that would have an effect of the headache. When we give Botox in headache patients, we tend to give it in a much more wide area than just corrugator, so I think the jury would be out from my perspective,” Dr. Andy Dowson, a headache specialist, said.
Experts say more procedures need to be done, and it they are favorable the surgery could move to America.