The migraine surgical procedure can vary depending on the patient’s trigger sites, and only the identified trigger sites are surgically addressed. The goal of the procedure is to eliminate triggering stimuli (muscle impingement or airway turbulence and vibration).
Generally, the operation will be done as an outpatient procedure under sedation or general anesthesia. Often affected nerves are decompressed from enveloping muscle and wrapped with fatty (noncontracting) tissue. When performed on the brow, the surgery is similar to a cosmetic brow lift. In back of the neck, the greater occipital nerve is treated similarly through a hidden incision in the scalp. Nasal airway surgery is a variation of the commonly performed procedure for a deviated septum resulting in breathing difficulty. Incisions are small and hidden in the nose.

Be prepared to discuss:

• The types of triggers that cause your headaches (smells, mense, stress, weather, foods)
• Your recovery expectation and times
• Headache improvment expectations
• Possible additional surgeries
• Numbness that may occur
• Consequences associated with permanent numbness
• Location of scaring

You may also be asked about:

• Previous medications used
• Previous types of injections (nerve blocks, Botox injections)
• Number of days missed from work or school in last 90 days
• Age at which migraine headaches started
• Pain, frequency and duration of your migraine headache