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Is Corrugator Resection Surgery Right for You?

By: Dr. Ganchi

What is Corrugator Resection Surgery?

The word corrugator refers to a muscle known as the corrugator supercilii, one of the three eyelid muscles. It is small, narrow and shaped like a pyramid. This is also known as the “frowning” muscle and is the primary muscle that is used by actors to depict the expression of suffering. This muscle helps pull the eyebrow down thus making vertical wrinkles appear on the forehead. The muscle also contracts creating ridges and furrows that help the eyes avoid high glare of the sun.

It also appears that this muscle plays a contributing role in migraine headaches. The doctor who made this discovery, conjectured that many migraines are caused by tension. Overly tight muscles create tension and irritation in the face, neck and scalp.

During a corrugator resection this muscle is removed through surgery (resected).

Corrugator Supercilii Resection for Frown Lines

Some people subconsciously frown when they are thinking, concentrating or conversing. This excess activity of the corrugator supecilii muscle causes frown lines to appear, eventually producing a continuously serious, angry, annoyed, or mean expression. Once these furrows appear your facial expression becomes to some degree set.  When this has occurred, no matter how happy or pleased you are, there will always be those frown lines.

Corrugator Supercilii Muscles

The corrugator supcilii muscles are located between the eyebrows.

During a corrugator resection procedure, your plastic surgeon goes in and removes this slender muscle, thereby calming and smoothing that part of your brow. This produces an overall more pleasant appearance.

 Corrugator Resection Combined with Upper Blepharoplasty

 Currugator muscle resection, forehead lift, and eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) are frequently performed simultaneously. This produces the most complete improvement in the appearance of the eyelids, area around the eyes, and the forehead.

When a patient undergoes an upper eyelid blepharoplasty at the same time as the resection of the corrugator muscle the entire procedure can be done through the same incisions.

Corrugator resection, either in addition to upper eyelid blepharoplasty or performed alone will soften the forehead and stop the formation or progression of the fine lines and wrinkles referred to as “frown lines”.

Corrugator Supercilii Muscle Resection for Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches can be caused by any number of factors or can appear as if for no reason at all. When they do occur, the pain they create can be debilitating with a spectrum of symptoms including intense head pain, pain behind the eyes, and disturbed vision. These headaches can be so bad they produce nausea.

Once the head pains from a migraine begin it’s difficult to control and most sufferers take some kind of pain medication and “wait it out”.

A chance finding by a plastic surgeon, Dr. Bahman Guyuron has led to a means of curing as many as 80% of migraines. Dr. Guyuron and colleagues from Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio, discovered a strong correlation between the removal of the corrugator supercilii muscle and the elimination or significant improvement of tension migraines or muscle tension headaches. The doctor discovered that the removal of the frown muscle, or corrugator supercilii, which sits above the eyebrow on the forehead, seemed to cure migraines. He believes that many migraines are caused through tension, and by nerves in the face, neck or scalp being irritated by over-tight muscles.

Relieving Pressure and Reducing Pain

Concerns over the addictive quality of many painkillers strong enough to help with the effects of a migraine, make a surgical solution all the more desirable.

Corrugator resection for tension migraines offers many patients a real chance to dramatically reduce the severity or frequency of attacks or even free themselves from their migraines completely.

The surgery involves relieving the pressure placed on the trigeminal nerve (a large, complex cranial nerve) by addressing the corrugator muscle to which it is attached. It is the interaction between the nerve and the muscle that leads to the migraine attack. When the corrugator muscle contracts it pinches the nerve, triggering the severe tension headache.

By removing the corrugator muscle, in a resection procedure, the muscle cannot stimulate the nerve and so symptoms are eliminated.

Since not all migraines are ­triggered this way, the surgery is not suitable for all migraine sufferers. However, we have a series of steps we do to help adjudicate whether this procedure is likely to help you.

How is Corrugator Surgery Performed?

Corrugator resection surgery is performed with the patient under anesthesia. It can be done on an outpatient basis and takes about an hour.

Once the anesthesia has take effect; the surgeon makes an incision along the eyelid crease of both eyes and removes the ­corrugator muscle. The plastic surgeon will close each incision with a small stitch, which he will painlessly remove after five days.

After a stay in the recovery room, the patient will be able to head home. Make sure you have someone with you to do the driving.

Recovery from Corrugator Muscle Resection

Discomfort following corrugator resection is mild.

You’ll be able to shampoo your hair and wash your face with soap the day following surgery.

Some bruising will be visible, which typically lasts for a couple of weeks. Your medical team will ask you to take several days to two weeks off work and to avoid strenuous activity for four to six weeks.

Some patients will experience numbness in the central part of their forehead after corrugator muscle removal. This numbness typically resolves itself in a few months.

If you suffer from migraines or are bothered by constant frown lines that make you look angry or annoyed, give us a call and schedule an appointment. It may be that a corrugator resection will help.

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Harvard trained, board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Ganchi and staff lavish you with attention and make your experience enjoyable and comfortable.

WE INVITE YOU TO CALL OUR NEW JERSEY OFFICE AT 973-942-6600.


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