Migraine Surgery Candidates: What You Need to Know
The Migraine Institute is a leading provider of minimally invasive migraine surgery treatments. We use advanced migraine decompression surgery techniques to address a patient’s migraine triggers and permanently remove faulty nerve signals that cause your migraines.
Are You a Candidate for a Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Not all migraines are created equal, and different migraine sufferers have different underlying causes. Migraine surgery is ideal in treating migraines related to one of several muscular/nerve trigger points. One trigger point is located inside the nose, and the remainder are located around the face, scalp and neck.
Nerve decompression surgery is a complex procedure. Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute will conduct an in-depth evaluation to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for this approach. Using trigger point confirmation techniques as part of a comprehensive patient assessment, Dr. Cabin gains understanding of each individual’s unique link between a trigger point and migraine pain. This allows a customized surgical plan to be developed for each patient.
What are Migraine Trigger Points?
A migraine trigger point refers to a specific sensory nerve on the face, scalp or neck that, when irritated, sets off a domino effect that can lead to a migraine. With effective migraine trigger point confirmation, a patient can appreciate the link between a specific trigger point and the migraine pain that he or she experiences.
The most important tools in confirming trigger points is the use of a detailed patient history, migraine log and in-office examination. Frequently, other techniques will be required including doppler testing and/or BOTOX®/nerve block injections. Depending on the trigger point(s) involved, a CT scan or course of medication (like nasal steroid spray) may also be required for further confirmation.
A doppler is a special device that uses sound waves to detect blood vessel pulsations. It is particularly helpful in localizing arteries that may be irritating trigger point sensory nerves. These arteries can be treated to eliminate the migraine trigger.
BOTOX® injections relax muscles around a nerve (some new studies suggest that it may actually work directly on the nerve, as well). It takes BOTOX® about 3-5 days to start working and 2 weeks to get to its maximal effect. If BOTOX® treatment in a certain area reduces or eliminates migraine symptoms, this suggests that this may be a trigger point.
Nerve blocks work more immediately by blocking signal transmission for a specific nerve. This can also help determine whether a particular area is a trigger point, especially if the patient is actively in the early stage of a migraine when the injection is performed.
Steroid nasal spray is administered through the nostrils to shrink the internal lining of the nose. When nasal spray helps to reduce or eliminate migraines, then this can serve as confirmation of a nasal trigger point.
Is Migraine Surgery Effective?
Migraine surgery is custom-tailored to your specific triggers and is designed to permanently eliminate a particular nerve irritation. In most patients, surgery dramatically reduces the duration, intensity and frequency of migraines. Roughly half of all patients have no migraines after migraine surgery.
Set Up a Consultation with Dr. Cabin at The Migraine Institute
A consultation with Dr. Cabin is available for those who are interested in migraine decompression surgery and other interventional migraine treatments.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Cabin and The Migraine Institute team, please contact us today at 310.461.0303 or fill out our online form.