The Truths and Myths of Surgical Migraine Treatment


Migraines are one of the most painful medical conditions. The throbbing pain can last for hours, and sometimes cause nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and extreme sensitivity to sound. These symptoms are sometimes severe enough to require hospitalization. Fortunately, there are many treatments available that offer relief from migraines, including medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery.

However, not all of these treatments are effective or safe for everyone. This blog shares the truths and myths about surgical migraine clinic treatment in order to help you make an informed decision about your care. A headache is never just a headache!

The Types of Migraine Surgery

Migraine surgery is often used to treat chronic migraine headaches that are resistant to other treatments. The most common types of surgery are the following:

A traditional craniotomy

Medial temporal lobe resection

Anterior cingulotomy

Deep brain stimulation

The first type of surgery is a traditional craniotomy. This type of surgery involved removing the portion of the skull covering the brain where the pain is coming from. The surgeon then removes part or all of the tissue causing the pain. The procedure can be done in one day, but this mostly depends on how many nerves need to be removed and how deep into the brain tissue needs to be explored. Traditional craniotomies typically don’t require general anesthesia, so you may be able to go home soon after your operation. However, there are risks associated with this type of operation, including infection and memory loss because there’s no way to fully know what you’re cutting up when you remove part or all of tissue causing your pain.

Every patient’s condition varies so it’s important for you to talk with your doctor about what treatment will work best for you!

What You Should Know

Migraines affect over 38 million people in the US every year. They occur when blood vessels on both sides of your head swell and press on nerves that can cause pain and other symptoms. Your risk for migraines is higher if you’re a woman, between 18 and 50 years old, and have a family history of migraines.

There are many treatments available to people living with migraines, but not all treatments are effective or safe for everyone. Doctors may recommend medication, lifestyle changes, or surgery.

Surgery may not be the best choice for people who have had three or more failed attempts at drug therapy in the last year. There is also a risk for brain injury during surgery because your skull bones are reopened to access the inside of your brain in order to remove or block blood vessels in your head.

Surgeon experience is another consideration because there are different levels of expertise among surgeons performing migraine surgery. The type of procedure will depend on whether you need to remove blood vessels from the outside or inside your head’s surface area.

Pros and Cons of Migraine Surgery

Migraine surgery is a last resort for migraine relief. The procedure is not appropriate for people who have a history of epilepsy, have had a stroke or tumour, or have uncontrolled high blood pressure. It’s also not recommended for pregnant women.

The pros of migraine surgery are the reduction in pain and frequency of migraines following the procedure. In some cases, it can even eliminate migraines altogether. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of migraine surgery varies from person to person, so it may not result in any relief from migraines at all.

The downsides to migraine surgery include possible complications like bleeding and infection; increased sensitivity to light and sound; and an inability to concentrate while healing from post-surgical symptoms like nausea and vomiting. More serious risks include heart rhythm disturbance; disorientation; memory loss; and numbness on one side of the body. While many people do experience relief from their migraines with this procedure, it’s important to be aware of all the risks before making a decision on whether or not to proceed with surgical treatment.


No matter which migraine treatment you decide to pursue, it always helps to have an idea of what your options are. Ultimately, the treatment you choose should be based on your personal needs.

Keep in mind that there are many different treatments available for migraines so don’t let any myths discourage you from trying something new. If you are experiencing debilitating headaches, it is important to find a treatment that works best for you.

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