Migraine headaches can be debilitating for the estimated 35 million Americans who suffer from them. Not only is there a burden on the person affected by them, there are also significant costs to society related to treatment and loss of work. While medications and lifestyle changes make migraine headaches more tolerable for most patients, some have little or no response to treatment. 

New studies suggest that some migraine headaches may be caused by compression of nerves further away from the brain than previously thought. In these cases, Botox (which blocks nerve transmissions) has shown to provide a significant, but temporary, relief from such headaches. For patients who find relief from Botox but wish to have a longer lasting or permanent effect, surgical decompression of the nerves may be a good option. 

This new approach of using Botox and surgery for migraine headache treatment was developed by Dr. Bahman Guyuron, a plastic surgeon who noticed migraine headache symptom improvements in his patients who had certain facial procedures. After investigating it further, and conducting well designed clinical studies, Dr. Guyuron was able to show that both Botox and surgery are an effective way of treating migraine headaches in selected patients. These techniques are now being offered by other plastic surgeons in conjunction with neurologists who can properly evaluate patients suffering from this debilitating condition.