Medical Benefits of Plastic Surgery

A study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery shows that the forehead-lift also known as the eyebrow lift procedure has benefits beyond aesthetics in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines.
The study authors analyzed responses gathered from the Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (PSEQ) given to 90 migraine patients who had the forehead-lift procedure between 2013 and 2015. The PSEQ is used to rate the pain of individuals who are living with conditions that cause chronic pain such as arthritis, diabetic neuropathy and migraine.
Migraine is the sixth most disabling condition in the world and affects about 13 percent of adults in the United States. The symptoms of migraine include severe head pain. Many migraine sufferers experience chronic migraines, which means they have 15 or more migraine episodes per month.
Additional symptoms of the condition include sensitivity to light and smells, nausea, dizziness, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Severe migraine sufferers may even experience changes in their vision as well as auditory disturbances.
As a result of their symptoms, many migraine sufferers miss work, school and other activities because of their painful symptoms.
During the PSEQ, the study participants rated the severity of their migraine pain and how it affects their ability to function day to day.
Before their eyebrow lift procedure, the participants in the study had low PSEQ scores, which indicated high levels of pain, dysfunction and disability. The scores of the participants were lower than individuals who had taken the PSEQ for other types of chronic pain.
After their surgery, participants saw improvements in their PSEQs by an average of 112 percent.
The forehead-lift procedure, also known as the eyebrow lift, brow-lift, or endoscopic brow lift is used to lift sagging eyebrows that develop when the muscle that holds them in place on the forehead stretches out.
“As we age, the levator muscle in the forehead wears out from holding our brows in place and making facial expressions. When that happens, the eye brows sag,” Chernoff said.
In addition to improvements in pain, PSEQ scores in function and coping with migraine improved as well.
Improving More than Migraines
This is not the first time that a plastic surgery procedure has shown medical benefits.
“Many people think that plastic surgery is simply about aesthetics and restoring form, but it is also about restoring function in many cases,” said Dr. Gregory W. Chernoff.
Chernoff is a triple-board-certified facial, plastic and reconstructive surgeon who practices in Indianapolis, Indiana and Santa Rosa, California.
Recently, another study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery highlighted the medical benefits of the abdominoplasty “tummy tuck” procedure. This study highlighted improvements in back pain and stress urinary incontinence in women who had given birth at least twice.
“The stress of pregnancy can cause separation of the abdominal muscles, which can cause back pain. Pregnancy and childbirth can also put pressure on the bladder, which can lead to urinary incontinence when coughing, sneezing or exercising,” said Chernoff.
Another study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that plastic surgery is critical in treating burn victims. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 16,000 burns required reconstructive plastic surgery in 2016 to treat burn-related scarring.
“Scars from burns have physical side effects such as pain, itching and loss of mobility. They also have emotional side effects and can cause feelings of self-consciousness, embarrassment and depression. Minimizing scarring or improving burn scars can help reduce these feelings, restore mobility and reduce pain,” Chernoff said.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. How Plastic Surgeons are Improving Quality of Life for Burn Patients. 4 February 2018.
Wolters Kluwer Health. “More than just a cosmetic procedure — ‘tummy tuck’ reduces back pain and incontinence.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2018.
Eureka Alert. Migraine surgery produces ‘dramatic improvements’ in functioning, study finds. 2 January 2018.

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