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What Are Your Options When It Comes To Migraine Surgery?

by Terry Wilson

For millions of migraine sufferers throughout the United States, a migraine attack can be a debilitating and devastating event. According to recent surveys, 91 percent of sufferers often miss work or are otherwise unable to enjoy normal activities during a migraine attack, while 51 percent have suffered significant losses in work or school productivity.

For those dealing with long-term migraine symptoms, surgery often represents the best and, in many cases, last solution for alleviating the constant and chronic pain. The following talks about the different options available for patients seeking a route for migraine surgery treatment.

Minimally Invasive Options

Two of the most common minimally invasive treatment options available for tackling migraine pain are M.I.S.O.N. (minimally invasive, supra-orbital nerve) and M.I.G.O.N.E. (minimally invasive, greater occipital nerve entrapment). The former aims to alleviate pain by reducing pressure on the supra-orbital nerve within the forehead. This is usually accomplished through a minimally invasive endoscopy, allowing your doctor to reach and relieve pressure on the nerve.

The latter targets the greater occipital nerve, a spinal nerve that's also a common trigger for migraine pain. This procedure involves removing a small amount of tissue surrounding the greater occipital nerve, removing pressure from the nerve itself and, in turn, alleviating much of the pain commonly associated with migraines.

Both procedures can be done the same day, with the vast majority of patients able to go home immediately afterwards. Recovery is also relatively straightforward, with few, if any, complications.

Other Options

In addition to M.I.S.O.N. and M.I.G.O.N.E., there's also neurostimulation, a long-standing form of surgery that's been used to treat migraines and other spinal conditions for decades. This procedure involves delivering small electrical impulses to the nerves responsible for your migraine headaches. This gentle stimulation disrupts pain signals being sent to the brain, alleviating most symptoms.

Botox injections are another avenue for migraine sufferers to consider, although it's usually considered a short-term solution that should be followed up with other long-term treatment options. Botox injections are used to paralyze facial muscles that may be responsible for causing migraine symptoms in some patients. However, the effects of Botox usually wear off within 3 to 6 months, prompting patients to either undergo repeated treatment or explore long-term solutions for alleviating migraine pain.

For patients whose migraine attacks are triggered by a deviated septum, a septoplasty offers an ideal solution for alleviating chronic pain. This outpatient surgical procedure involves trimming and repositioning nose cartilage to not only reduce nerve pressure but also to improve breathing. Keep in mind that you'll need to undergo general anaesthesia prior to the septoplasty.