Migraine Headache Therapy

Migraine Surgery – Migraine Headache Therapy

Twelve percent of Americans suffer from migraines, a severe type of headache that also causes neurological symptoms (e.g., nausea, visual disturbances). Migraines can be incapacitating, sometimes lasting up to 72 hours or longer. Individuals whose migraines are unresponsive to standard medical or pharmacological therapy or lifestyle modifications may be interested in surgical intervention.

Migraine surgery was discovered in 2000, after plastic surgery patients with a history of migraines reported a significant decrease or complete absence in migraines after various facial cosmetic procedure. The proposed theory was that the majority of migraines occur when the peripheral branches of the trigeminal nerve become irritated and release neurotoxins. Based on this understanding, multiple trigger points around the face were identified — mostly on the forehead, temple, back of the head and behind the eyes — and specific surgical techniques were developed for each trigger site.

Migraine surgery is performed on an outpatient basis with sedation and/or general anesthesia. It takes  approximately 45 minutes to an hour to deactivate each trigger point. This could involve removing a small portion of the muscle that is pinching the cranial nerves, or correcting a deviated septum that is protruding into the other structures and compressing the nerves.

BOTOX to Treat Migraine Headaches

In addition to medication and surgery, BOTOX is another treatment option for those who suffer from migraines. In fact, the FDA approved the use of Botox for chronic migraines in 2010.

Prior to migraine surgery, BOTOX may be administered to paralyze the offending facial muscle(s) and determine whether the migraines cease. However, if it works, the effects are temporary and last only a few months. A favorable response to the Botox test indicates that the patient may benefit from the long-term effects of migraine surgery.

To schedule a consultation for migraine headache treatment at Coastal Cosmetic Center, please email us or call (904) 332-6774.