If medication or other treatments are effective for your migraines, you probably won’t want to consider surgical intervention. However, for patients who don’t respond well to other treatments, surgery can be the migraine treatment that restores their quality of life. Surgery can provide long-term relief, or possibly even a cure.
Migraines have long been associated with the compression and irritation of key nerves in your face and head. These triggers are chronic, and may have genetic causes—just the way your personal anatomy is put together—or can be the result of changes that take place over time.
Migraine surgery reduces the irritation and compression, either by correcting the tissue surrounding the nerves or by blocking the pain signals.
There are two basic types of surgical treatment for migraine: nerve release and pain blocking.
The tissue surrounding a nerve—the muscle, fat, or other structures—can impinge or compress the nerve and trigger migraine pain. Since a number of different nerves can be triggers, there are several different types of corrective surgeries. The surgery that will work for you depends on the location of your personal triggers.
Both M.I.S.O.N. and M.I.G.O.N.E. surgeries are minimally invasive, performed using HD cameras, and are generally performed as outpatient procedures.
Your migraine surgical procedure may be covered by your insurance. Some have specific criteria patients must meet, or require documentation that you have gone through other treatment protocols before approving a surgical procedure. Check with your insurance provider to make sure you meet their requirements.
There are a number of factors to consider in deciding if migraine surgery is your best option.
Our surgeons will need as much information about all your medical conditions as possible. We’ll need:
Our surgeons will talk to you about your migraines, and your medical history. We’ll examine you to determine if nerve compression is causing your headaches, or if there are other indications that you will respond well to surgical treatment.
There are treatments that give a temporary version of the relief that surgery would provide, such as BOTOX® or nerve blocks. If you haven’t had such treatment in the past, our surgeons evaluate whether surgical intervention is an option.
After your diagnostic treatment, you’ll need to keep a written record of your symptoms for several weeks. Reviewing this pain diary can reveal how beneficial surgery might be for you.
There are no guarantees for any medical treatment, and every individual case is different, but the surgical treatment MRC offers is especially tailored to reduce the number and severity of your migraines. We can’t promise specific results, but 90% of our patients say their migraines are less frequent and don’t last as long, while 50% say they’re migraine-free within months of their surgery.
Every surgery involves risk. You may experience side effects, and complications are possible. However, MRC’s surgical procedures are minimally-invasive, and our patients’ tend to recovery easily and quickly. If you have any concerns, please be sure to discuss them with your physician.