Am I a good candidate for Migraine Surgery?

Migraine headaches are extremely common and severely disabling.  In the Global Burden of Disease Survey 2010, migraine headaches were ranked as the third most common disorder and the seventh highest cause of disability worldwide.

Migraine headaches are diagnosed with the following criteria from the International Classification of Headache Disorders:

  1.  At least five attacks with the features of 2-4
  2. Headache attacks lasting 4-72 hours.  (untreated or unsuccessfully treated)
  3. Headache has at least two of the following four characteristics.
    1. Unilateral location
    2. Pulsing quality
    3. Moderate or severe intensity
    4. Aggravation by or causing avoidance of physical activity
  4. During headache at least one of the following:
    1. Nausea and/or vomiting
    2. Photophobia (sensitivity to light) and phonophobia (sensitivity to sound)
  5. Not better accounted for by another diagnosis.

Success of migraine surgery depends largely on selecting the right patient.  In addition to confirming the diagnosis of migraine headaches by meeting the criteria above, I arrange for a Board Certified Neurologist to evaluate and confirm the diagnosis of migraine headaches.  We will then talk about the duration, severity, location, inciting factors, previous treatments, and other characteristics of your migraine headaches.  We will keep a detailed log/diary of your migraine headaches for one or more months.  Depending on the location and previous treatments, Botox may be administered to areas or the forehead, temple, and/or scalp.  If Botox is effective, this is a very good prognostic sign that migraine surgery will be successful.  This will also help narrow the site of nerve irritation and direct a very precise surgery giving the maximal chance of success.

If Botox does not work at reducing migraines, surgery may still be successful.  For example, if migraines are triggered by nose irritation from a deviated septum, Botox will not be effective, but surgery to correct the deformity may partially or completely relieve this site as a trigger for migraines.

Successful treatment is considered a reduction in migraines of 50% or more.  Over 90% of patients have experienced this reduction when properly selected.  Migraine surgery is an exciting new field of plastic surgery.  As a fellow migraine sufferer, I am proud to make this treatment available to the Phoenix / Scottsdale area.  If you suffer from chronic migraine headaches, I encourage you to schedule a consultation today to start taking control of your life again.

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