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Cosmetic Eye Procedure May Ease Migraines

Update Date: Aug 23, 2014 03:07 PM EDT

Cosmetic eyelid surgery that involves specific nerves may do more than just improving looks. According to a new study, the surgery might provide migraine relief for some. 

The technique involves making incisions in the upper eyelid to deactivate so-called "trigger" nerves while also lifting the lid. 

The new approach is an alternative to another surgery that is also used to treat migraines. In that technique, nerves under the skin are approached but it is started from the scalp. 

Both procedures are known as trigger-site deactivation surgeries, according to press release. 

Some neurologists and related experts view both the procedures as unproven. 

However, when the surgery is used in appropriate patients, migraine improvement is common, researchers of the new study say. 

"Ninety percent of our patients had over 50 percent improvement in their migraines," said study researcher Dr. Oren Tessler, an assistant professor of clinical surgery at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, in the press release. "After a year's time, 51 percent had no migraines."

"As a bonus they got an upper eyelid surgery," added Tessler, who is also director of plastic surgery at University Hospital, New Orleans.

Related experts feel more study is needed. According to them the technique is  "theoretically plausible, but not proven. Most neurologists and headache doctors don't think the evidence is sufficient to recommend this surgery at this time."

The study is detailed in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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