Migraines affect more than 17 percent of women and 5 percent of men in this country. If you are one of them, you are familiar with the throbbing pain, sensitivity to light/sounds, nausea and other unpleasant symptoms.

There is good news for you on the horizon: physicians are looking at a new migraine treatment that, so far, is showing great success. Surprisingly, the treatment is a commonly performed cosmetic procedure: eyelid surgery (a.k.a., blepharoplasty).

Doctors have been studying the sensory nerves that connect the brain to the face and the skin on the front, sides and back of the head. These are known as “trigger” nerves and can become compressed and cause migraines.

The compressed trigger nerves can be accessed and “deactivated” through the same incisions used to remove excess eyelid skin during cosmetic surgery. Taking the extra step to free the compressed nerves removes the irritation, thereby reducing or eliminating the occurrence of migraines.

So far, the treatment has shown a high success rate. In one study, performed by a team of surgeons from LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 90 percent of patients had over 50 percent improvement in their migraines. According to study researcher Dr. Oren Tessler, 51 percent of patients had no migraines after a year.

An extra benefit to eyelid/migraine treatment is that the patients had tighter eyelids and a rejuvenated appearance afterward.

Some experts question eyelid surgery as a viable treatment for migraines. There is an ongoing debate as to whether freeing trapped nerves addresses the true cause of migraines. Also, critics of Dr. Tessler’s study pointed out that there might have been a “placebo effect” from the surgery.

However, the news is certainly promising for anyone who has had to sit in a dark room with a cold compress until a migraine wears off.

Eyelid Surgery with Dr. John Kim

While Dr. John Kim of Northwestern Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery doesn’t currently offer eyelid surgery as migraine treatment, he has helped hundreds of patients look younger, more rested and more rejuvenated through the cosmetic procedure.

You may be a candidate for eyelid surgery if you have droopy upper eyelids and/or puffy, baggy lower eyelids. These features can make you look older, more tired and less pleasant than you actually feel.

For more information about eyelid surgery for cosmetic purposes, please contact Dr. Kim’s office by calling 312-695-6022 today. A member of our team would be happy to schedule a consultation for you to meet Dr. Kim and discuss the procedure and its benefits.