Migraine Surgery in San Diego – Dr. Gary H. Manchester

Surgery for the relief of migraine headaches has become one of the most frequent asked about procedures in plastic surgery during the past two years. Nearly 35 million people suffer from this condition which accounts for a loss of $13 billion dollars annually in gross productivity. Studies have shown that 18% of women and 6 % of men suffer from this condition. There are now two methods to treat refractory migraine headaches which have an 85% success rate.

During the past 12 years, endoscopic surgery has became very popular in the U.S.. Plastic surgeons have observed that a large number of their patients found marked relief in the severity and frequency of their migraine headaches following endoscopic forehead and temporal surgery. This finding has been observed in Europe as well. Botox injections to the forehead and eyebrow areas have been observed to give the same relief.

It is now felt that the corrigator muscles of the forehead obstruct blood flow and /or causes tension to the supra-orbital and supra-trochler nerves. Release of this tension by means of removing the corrigator muscle or paralyzing it provides improvement in 85% of patients.

I have found this percentage to be within our study range. The current treatment of refractory migrane headaches consist of a course of Botox injections to the forehead and corrigator muscles and observe if relief is obtained. If relief is obtained for over a month, then the patient is given the option of repeat Botox injections every six months or surgical excision of the corrigator muscle.

Migraine surgery preop corrigator muscle has been removed corrigator muscle resected 3 weeks post op

Patient suffered migraine headaches from over active corrigator muscle. Center photo taken immediately after surgery and right photo shows patient 3 weeks following surgery


As a highly recognized cosmetic surgeon in San Diego, Dr. Gary H. Manchester offers a number of traditional and leading-edge procedures, including migraine surgery. Over the years, he has helped more than 19,000 patients enhance both their appearance and psychological well-being through plastic surgery procedures. Some of the individuals who seek Dr. Manchester’s help more often include San Diego breast augmentation, liposuction and tummy tuck patients. In addition, Dr. Manchester has extensive experience performing facelift and rhinoplasty in San Diego.

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