The surgical procedure can vary depending on the patient’s trigger sites, and only the identified trigger sites (up to 4, but usually 2-3) 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. 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.