Minimally invasive migraine surgery addresses faulty nerve signals that can lead to migraines. The surgery is customized to eliminate migraine triggers, usually reducing the duration, intensity and frequency of migraines. Additionally, approximately half of all patients report resolution of migraines after surgery.

Ultimately, surgery for migraines reduces the some or all of the associated migraine symptoms. Migraine-related symptoms that may be reduced include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue/Weakness
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Photophobia (Sensitivity to Light
  • Phonophobia (Sensitivity to Sound)

Surgery for migraines may reduce or eliminate some or all of these symptoms.

Prior to approval for surgery, an individual must have a “chronic migraine” diagnosis from a neurologist and be dissatisfied with migraine medication. In surgical candidates, medication may be hard to tolerate because of serious side effects, or not fully effective. Patients who are effectively treated by migraine medication and have minimal side effects are not candidates for this surgery.

Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute takes a comprehensive approach to surgery for migraines. Before an initial patient visit, Dr. Cabin requests a detailed migraine history that includes a migraine log. Then, Dr. Cabin performs a physical exam and evaluates a patient’s full medical history. He also may perform a Doppler ultrasound, order a CT scan or schedule other specialized tests to evaluate an individual’s candidacy for migraine surgery, and gather information needed to customize the surgery to the individual patient.

If Dr. Cabin determines an individual is a candidate for migraine surgery, he will customize the procedure to this person’s migraine triggers. Dr. Cabin’s goal is to ensure safe, effective surgery is performed to address an individual’s migraine symptoms. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Cabin works with each patient to determine which surgical sites to treat. This work-up may require several weeks or months. During this period, a patient will likely receive specialized testing and injections to allow Dr. Cabin to customize the best surgical treatment.

Dr. Cabin develops a custom surgical plan for each patient, with anywhere from one to four surgical sites. Results from this surgery vary, but most patients see significant improvement in their migraines within two to four weeks of treatment.

Patients sometimes experience migraines right after surgery or in the first few days of recovery. In these instances, it does NOT mean surgery was unsuccessful. Instead, these symptoms are natural results of operating on or around the nerves that trigger migraines.

Dr. Cabin enjoys educating patients about migraine surgery and is happy to respond to any questions. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Cabin, please call us at 310.461.0303.

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