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When to Consider Surgery for Chronic Migraines

When to Consider Surgery for Chronic Migraines

Chronic migraines are so much more than a headache—they can cause pain and other symptoms that prevent you from doing your day-to-day activities. About 40 million American adults struggle with this debilitating head pain, so you aren’t alone. 


At Brooks Plastic Surgery, board-certified surgeon Christopher Brooks, MD, helps adults struggling with migraines in the Hollywood, Florida, area. For serious migraine pain, he uses surgical decompression to offer relief from chronic migraine by reducing the frequency, duration, and pain level of your headaches. 


We’ve put together this helpful guide to help you determine if it’s time to consider surgery for chronic migraines, so read on to find out more. 

What is migraine surgery?

At Brooks Plastic Surgery, we perform a type of nerve decompression surgery for migraines. This surgery eases the pressure on the nerves that trigger your migraine symptoms, releasing you from the pain. 

The trigger points for your nerves are extremely irritable areas in your muscles that send pain messages, causing the symptoms of chronic migraines. The surgery releases compression on these trigger points. 

There are multiple different places for trigger points, and you may have more than one. Everyone is different, but the most common trigger points are:

Dr. Brooks performs a thorough examination to diagnose your trigger points. Some people may suffer from trigger points in less common sites, so it’s important to be evaluated by a medical professional. 

Who should consider migraine surgery?

Getting surgery for chronic migraines is a serious decision, and the procedure isn’t right for everyone. Your surgeon’s assessment and your personal preference are key factors. 

Most people who undergo surgery for chronic migraines have found that more conservative methods are not enough to provide relief. Generally, a good candidate for trigger point decompression has:

Dr. Brooks works with you to determine if you are a suitable candidate for migraine surgery. He develops a customized plan for you that includes the target locations of the trigger points to optimize your relief and the number of sites that need intervention. 

What happens during the procedure?

During your migraine procedure at Brooks Plastic Surgery, you’ll be under general anesthesia while Dr. Brooks removes the tissue that’s triggering your sensory nerve and causing pain. This alleviates compression on your trigger points. 

Dr. Brooks then closes the incision and moves to the next trigger point, and it usually takes about two to three hours to complete the entire migraine surgery. After your surgery, you’ll rest in the recovery area until you are approved to go home. 

Most patients go home on the same day, though your surgical sites may be sore and numb for one to two weeks. Some patients experience an increase in migraines during the recovery period. 

You may also experience some temporary symptoms while you recover such as:

The best results come in after about four to six months, when you should find dramatic relief, though some patients report a change sooner. Up to 92% of patients experience a 50% or more reduction in the frequency of their migraines, and one-third report their chronic migraines stop completely. 

One of the best things about migraine surgery is that it provides these fantastic results without the need to take migraine medication and deal with the many serious side effects continued usage brings. 

If you’d like to learn more about surgery for chronic migraines, we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Brooks Plastic Surgery in Hollywood, Florida, today.

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