If you have frequent migraines, you've probably tried various treatments to help your condition. One treatment that's fairly new and getting good results is migraine surgery. Even if your migraines haven't responded to medication and other treatments, surgery might help. Here's a look at why surgery helps migraines and how it's done.

Nerve Compression Causes Migraine Pain

Some cases of migraine pain seem to be linked to nerve compression in the head. This was discovered accidentally after patients who had forehead lifts reported they no longer had migraines or that their migraines were reduced. The link was investigated and research indicates that trigger points in the muscles and other tissues in the forehead or neck compress nerves that keep the nerves irritated. This nerve irritation is what causes migraine pain. Migraine surgery helps by releasing the pinched nerve in a form of decompression surgery. Once the nerve is no longer irritated, migraines decrease or stop altogether.

Tests Are Done To Find Trigger Points

The key to a successful surgery is to locate the trigger points that compress your nerves. Your doctor may use an ultrasound test or CT scan. He or she can also use your symptoms as a guide to pinpointing whether the pain originates from your temples, behind your eyes, your forehead or the back of your neck. Locating the area of nerve compression is important because the surgical procedures are different for each area.

The Surgery Is Often A Quick Procedure

There are different types of migraine surgery. They are usually done on an outpatient basis. Some surgeries are quick and only require a local anesthetic. The forehead surgery involves tiny incisions around your hairline or eyebrows that allow the doctor to release the nerves from muscle tissue. A more complex surgery involves repairing a deviated septum that presses on a nerve. A different surgery releases a nerve at the base of your neck. Even though some of the surgeries are performed on your facial area, there is little risk of scarring. Recovery usually takes a few days during which time you should get plenty of rest. Your headaches may disappear immediately, but it takes time for your incisions to heal and for your nerve to heal from the irritation and inflammation.

Some people undergo the surgery and don't obtain relief from migraines. You'll need to discuss your suitability for the procedure with your doctor. Your doctor may want to try Botox treatments first. If your migraines are helped with Botox treatments, there's a good chance surgery will help too. Talk to doctors at facilities like Northeastern Migraine Surgery Center for more information.