Migraine Surgery Doctor

The migraine surgical procedure can vary depending on the patient’s trigger sites, and only the identified trigger sites are surgically addressed. The goal of the procedure is to eliminate triggering stimuli (muscle impingement or airway turbulence and vibration).

Trigger Sites / Zone

Generally, the operation will be done as an outpatient procedure under sedation or general anesthesia. Often affected nerves are decompressed from enveloping muscle and wrapped with fatty (non-contracting) 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.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • The types of triggers that cause your headaches (smells, mense, stress, weather, foods)
  • Your recovery expectation and times
  • Headache improvement expectations
  • Possible additional surgeries
  • Numbness that may occur
  • Consequences associated with permanent numbness
  • Location of scarring

You may also be asked about:

  • Previous medications used
  • Previous types of injections (nerve blocks, Botox injections)
  • Number of days missed from work or school in last 90 days
  • Age at which migraine headaches started
  • Pain, frequency and duration of your migraine headache

Where will I have my surgery?

Patients are evaluated at the new facility near downtown Bangor and have their surgery either at one of the local hospitals or at Dr. Branch’s outpatient surgery center less than a mile from Dr. Branch’s office.

How long does the procedure take?

The surgical procedure time can vary depending on the number of trigger sites (up to 4, but usually 2-3). Each zone or trigger site procedure can average 1 hour.

What is the Success rate for Migraine Surgery

The success rate for the treatment is 90%, with at least a 50% reduction of migraine symptoms. Approximately 35% of patients no longer experience headaches. Dr. Branch’s first patient has gone from chronic daily headaches to ONE headache over the span of 9 years since the day of her surgery.

Any procedure involving incisions, regardless of the professionalism and skill of the performing surgeon, contains the possibility of complication. In addition to the general risks associated with incisions other complications, though rare, may include:

  • Discomfort at the injection sites
  • Mild bruising or swelling lasting a few days.
  • Temporary droopy upper eyelids from Botox® testing
  • Temporary hair loss (rare)
  • Temporary (and rarely permanent) numbness in the forehead and scalp
  • Infection and/or bleeding
  • Nasal whistling, crusting, occasional bleeding, numbness of the upper teeth
    (if septoplasty is done)
  • Dryness inside the nose, if turbinectomy is done
  • Change in brow appearance and movement
  • No change in symptoms
  • Worsening of symptoms
  • Intense itching
  • Short term neck stiffness
  • Sinus Infection

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Zone 4

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