What Does Migraine Surgery Entail and How Effective Is It?

As anyone who suffers from migraines knows, they're more than just a headache and not always easy to treat. If you’ve tried common methods to cure migraines but are still struggling, migraine surgery may help. 

Here at Brooks Plastic Surgery in Hollywood, Florida, Dr. Christopher Brooks and our highly trained staff provide a wide range of services from cosmetic and reconstructive procedures to migraine surgery. By listening to your needs and creating a personalized treatment plan, we can help you overcome your migraines so you can feel your best.

Migraines

The third most common illness, migraines affect 39 million Americans and one billion people worldwide. Symptoms include pulsing or throbbing pain typically on one side of the head, strong sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea and/or vomiting. Some but not all people may experience an aura beforehand in the form of visual disturbances or difficulty talking. A migraine's duration can vary from a few hours to days.

Causes

Researchers have not yet pinpointed a definitive cause of migraines but believe they are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. It's also possible that an imbalance of brain chemicals may be involved as might interactions between the trigeminal nerve and the brainstem.

Many people experience headache triggers. While they vary from individual to individual, some common causes are hormonal changes (for women), stress, alcoholic and/or caffeinated drinks, sleep or weather changes, and many sensory stimuli like bright lights, loud noises or strong smells. Physical exertion, medications, certain foods, and food additives can also incite a migraine.

Treatment options

For people who only get a few migraines a month, relief medications can often bring respite. For mild migraines, over-the-counter medications with aspirin or ibuprofen or a combination of ingredients like aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine can help. If that's not enough, prescription medications like triptans are available.

For people who suffer from migraines that are frequent, severe, and/or long-lasting, preventive medication is often explored. This can include antidepressants, blood pressure-lowering drugs, anti-seizure medications, Botox injections, and the injection of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies.

Migraine surgery

For many people, the common treatment options still fail to bring relief and they continue to suffer from debilitating pain. For these individuals, migraine surgery may be able to help by lessening the pressure on the sensory nerve trigger points around the face and forehead that are causing pain.

The procedure typically lasts from 45 minutes to an hour and is done under general anesthetic so there is no discomfort. Recovery takes approximately one to two weeks. Following the surgery between 80% and 92% of people saw their number of migraines decrease by at least 50% while about 3 in 10 found complete migraine relief.

If you're tired of struggling through the workday or missing out on social activities because of your migraines, call us at 954-256-5838 or click our "request appointment" button today to find out if migraine surgery is right for you.

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