Migraine Surgery Introduction Phoenix / Scottsdale
An Introduction to Migraine Surgery
A migraine headache can cause severe throbbing and pulsing pain localized to one area of the forehead or scalp. This is not a severe form of a “tension headache”. It is a much different process and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Some migraines are preceded by warnings such as halos, flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling. Still others come without warning.
Attacks can last for hours to days and all the sufferer can think of is trying to find a dark and quiet room to lie down in.
Migraines affect 12 percent of the American population. 28 million Americans suffer from migraines each year and lose a collective 112 million workdays and 14 Billion dollars in productivity.
As a fellow migraine sufferer, I can attest that migraines are a very painful and very abrupt interruption to life. School days are missed. Sports games are missed. Life is missed. Migraines cannot be reasoned with. Whatever is planned for the day, no matter how important, is replaced with isolation, pain, nausea, and vomiting in a dark room. In my lifetime, huge advances have been made in the field of migraine treatment.
For a long time, a diagnosis of migraine headaches ended with a conversation about behavior modification and avoiding foods like chocolate and caffeine. Now this is the start of the conversation. If behavior modifications and relaxation exercises do not work, the medication family called triptans has revolutionized migraine treatment. Triptans result in migraine reduction for the vast majority of people. Triptans work internally (in the brain) where most migraines are theorized to originate.
Some sufferers of migraine headaches were not helped with behavior modification, pills, or injections. They had to suffer without any other option. That is until recently. Through listening carefully to patients, plastic surgeons were able to establish a pattern of patients reporting improvement in their migraine headaches after certain cosmetic surgeries such as brow lifts and rhinoplasties (nose jobs).
Bahman Guyuron, MD of the Cleveland Clinic theorized external triggers (outside of the brain) may be causing migraines in many patients. By inadvertently relieving these external triggers during surgery, the migraines were improved. Dr. Guyuron and colleagues have investigated the science of migraine surgery for over a decade and have identified four distinct trigger sites. By surgically relieving the nerve compression at these trigger sites, migraines were reduced in 92% of patients by 50% or more and completely eliminated in 31% of patients. (More on trigger sites to come in a later blog entry)
I am thrilled to bring migraine surgery to the Phoenix / Scottsdale area. If you are suffering from migraine headaches and have received little relief from pills and injections, migraine surgery may be an option to restore control to your life. During your consultation, we will evaluate your headaches and discuss the process in greater detail to decide if migraine surgery may be right for you.
Author: Jason Mussman MD
Source for statistics: Guyron, B., Kriegler, J.S., Davis, J., Amimi S. B. (2005, January). Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Comprehensive Surgical Treatment of Migraine Headaches.