Corrugator supercilii muscle resection and migraine headaches

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2000 Aug;106(2):429-34; discussion 435-7. doi: 10.1097/00006534-200008000-00030.


This study was conducted to determine whether there is an association between the removal of the corrugator supercilii muscle and the elimination or significant improvement of migraine headaches. Questionnaires were sent to 314 consecutive patients who had undergone corrugator supercilii muscle resection during endoscopic, transpalpebral, or open forehead rejuvenation procedures. The patients were queried as to whether they had a history of migraine headaches and, if so, whether the headaches significantly improved or disappeared after surgery. If the answer was affirmative, then the patients were further questioned about the duration of the improvement or cessation of the headaches and the relationship to the timing of the surgery. After an initial evaluation of the completed questionnaires, a telephone interview was conducted to confirm the initial answers and to obtain further information necessary to ensure that the patients had a proper diagnosis based on the International Headache Society criteria for migraine headaches. The charts of the patients who had migraine headaches were studied to ascertain and classify the type of surgery they had undergone. Patient demographics were reviewed, and the results were statistically analyzed. Of the 314 patients, 265 (84.4 percent) either responded to the questionnaire, were interviewed, or both responded to the questionnaire and were interviewed. Of this group, 16 patients were excluded because of the provision of insufficient information to meet the International Headache Society criteria, the presence of organic problems, and other exclusions mandated by study design. Thirty-nine (15.7 percent) of the remaining 249 patients had migraine headaches that fulfilled the Society criteria. Thirty-one of the 39 (79.5 percent) with preoperative migraine noted elimination or improvement in migraine headaches immediately after surgery (p < 0.0001; McNemar), and the benefits lasted over a mean follow-up period of 47 months. When the respondents with a positive history of migraine headaches were further divided, 16 patients (p < 0.0001; McNemar) noticed improvement over a mean follow-up period of 47 months, and 15 (p < 0.0001; McNemar) experienced total elimination of their migraine headaches over a mean follow-up period of 46.5 months. When divided by migraine headache type, 29 patients (74 percent) had nonaura migraine headaches. Of these patients, the headaches disappeared in 11 patients, improved in 13 patients, and did not change in five patients (p < 0.0001). Ten patients experienced aura-type headaches, which disappeared or improved in seven of the patients and did not change in three of the patients (p < 0.0001). This study proves for the first time that there is indeed a strong correlation between the removal of the corrugator supercilii muscle and the elimination or significant improvement of migraine headaches.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Endoscopy
  • Facial Muscles / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forehead / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / etiology
  • Migraine Disorders / surgery*
  • Rhytidoplasty / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome