This study investigates the effect of corrugator superciliaris muscle excision on patients with frequent tension or chronic migraine headaches emanating from the glabellar or frontal regions.
We present a prospective study of 12 patients with chronic and frequent tension and/or migraine headaches. Patients who had already elected to undergo corrugator excision for cosmesis (n = 64) were given questionnaires to evaluate for the presence of chronic, recurrent migraine and/or tension headaches. Patients who answered in the affirmative went on to answer questions such as onset, location, frequency, severity, and duration of their headaches. Patients were grouped by types of headaches: tension, migraine, and combined headaches. Twelve patients who met all criteria were entered into the study and underwent corrugator excision in combination with blepharoplasty. Postoperative questionnaires and interviews were administered to evaluate the response of the patients’ headaches to corrugator excision.
All 12 patients had less frequent headaches and said they would have the procedure performed again for headache. Eleven of 12 patients (92%) had less intense headaches after corrugator superciliaris excision. Overall, 58% noted complete relief of their headaches. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 19 months.
Corrugator superciliaris muscle excision provides significant relief for headaches emanating from or localizing to the frontal and glabellar regions. Although improvement of migraine headaches has been previously described with this technique, this is the first report, to our knowledge, of effective surgical treatment of tension headaches by corrugator excision.