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Demystifying Migraine Surgery Myths

Aug 28, 2017, 12:00 PM by Valerie Clark

Myth: Migraine surgery is not proven.

Fact: The pioneer of migraine surgery, Dr. Bahman Guyuron has conducted more than 40 studies to show that migraine surgery is effective. The goal of migraine surgery is to eliminate or at least to reduce the number of migraines per month as well as the intensity and duration of each migraine. The results of Dr. Guyuron’s studies have been published in high-ranking, peer-reviewed medical journals.  Several reputable hospitals including one associated with the Harvard Medical School have demonstrated similar results. Over the course of 17 years and over 2,700 procedures performed, more than 90% of patients report significant improvement in migraine symptoms, and greater than 40% report having no more migraines.  The studies have also shown that the benefit of surgery is long lasting.  Many of Dr. Guyuron’s first migraine surgery patients are still living migraine-free

Myth: Migraine surgery is not safe.

Fact: There is an inherent risk of complications with any type of surgery, and Dr. Guyuron has refined his technique over the years to minimize the potential risks as well as shorten the recovery time.  Complications after migraine surgery are extremely rare. Patients may experience some temporary numbness after the surgery. Infection is a rare complication.

Myth: I will still have migraines after the surgery.

Fact: Most people who experience migraines have more than one trigger site.  Migraine trigger sites are located in various places around the head and neck, including the forehead, temples, behind the eyes, behind the neck, and sinuses. When a patient continues to experience migraines after having the surgery, the most common reason is a secondary trigger site that needs to be treated.  Once the second (or third, in rare cases) trigger site is treated, the migraines will most likely stop. Often, residual migraines after the initial surgery will be significantly reduced in intensity and frequency and commonly can be treatable with regular medications such as ibuprofen.

Learn more about the revolutionary treatment for migraine headaches

More facts about migraines:

  • We have a much better understanding of what causes migraines than we did 15 years ago, and we have very effective ways of treating migraine symptoms.
  • We know that migraines are triggered by nerve ends that become irritated or inflamed.
  • We know that migraines do run in families, and there is evidence of a genetic factor that could make certain individuals more prone to nerve irritation than others due to lack of insulation around the nerves called myelin.

The American Migraine Center and Drs. Bahman Guyuron (plastic surgeon) and Roda Michelle (neurologist) work together to help patients who are suffering from migraine headaches find long-lasting relief.   Call 440-442-6000 or 440-461-7999 for more information and to schedule a consultation.

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