More than 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, which are often accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. Some individuals with migraine also experience neurological aura symptoms, including temporary visual disturbances that can appear as flashing lights, zig-zag lines or loss of vision. Eighteen percent of all women and six percent of men between the ages of 15 and 50 suffer from migraines. Migraine-related medical treatment and time loss from work is estimated at $13.6 billion per year, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
What is Trigger Site Surgery?
Trigger site surgery involves the removal of small portions of migraine-triggering muscle or nerve tissue through a few small incisions. By releasing pressure in certain trigger areas of the head and neck, the surgery can help interrupt the cascade of events that can lead to a migraine when a trigger point becomes irritated."Migraines aren't just painful for some patients, they can be debilitating," said Dr. J.B. Moore, a plastic surgeon with Premier Plastic Surgery at OMC. "When medication and other conservative treatments fail, surgical intervention could make a huge impact on a migraine patient's life if he or she qualifies for the procedure."
The trigger site release surgery was developed after plastic surgeons noticed that some of his brow lift patients reported that their migraines had improved after surgery. Additional research showed that surgical deactivation of four common migraine headache trigger sites helped reduce the number of headaches that patients had. More than half of the patients who underwent surgery in the study reported a “complete elimination” of headaches. Up to 92 percent reported a more than 50 percent reduction in frequency, severity and duration of migraines.
"Surgery is not for everyone with migraines," said Dr. Moore. "Surgical candidates must have been diagnosed with migraines by a neurologist and have failed to respond to standard medical therapy for at least 12 months."
For those who do qualify, Dr. Moore injects Botox (botulinum toxin A) to pinpoint which of several specific muscles in the forehead, back of the head or temple areas may be serving as "trigger points" to compress, irritate or entrap nerves that could be causing the migraine. If a Botox treatment is successful in preventing migraines or lessening their severity, then surgery to remove the triggering muscle is likely to achieve the same result, possibly permanently. The surgery is performed at Olathe Medical Center, and patients return home the same day.
Are You a Candidate for Migraine Surgery?
If you have suffered from migraines that have not responded well to treatment, you may qualify for the Botox treatment at Dr. Moore's clinic to see if you could be a surgical candidate. Before you make an appointment, you will need to obtain two letters from physicians:
- One from a physician stating that you have been treated for migraines for at least 12 months without success
- Another from a neurologist stating that you've been diagnosed with migraines
For more information about these requirements, as well as a resource guide about the advanced migraine surgery and Dr. Moore, please call 913-791-4311 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org