Microsurgery for Migraines

Written by AnaLise on September 6, 2008 – 2:46 am -

Individuals who have suffered from migraines know how debilitating they can be.  The throbbing, the nausea, the sensitivity to light.  If you have ever felt the pain of a migraine, you know it is extreme.  Some people have described it as feeling like a hot knife is stabbing you in the head, feeling like a fireplace poker is lodged through your temple, feeling like a piece of steel is slicing through your eye, and other very uncomfortable sounding situations.

There are many triggers to migraines including various foods, beverages, lack of sleep or lack of good sleep, increased stress and muscular difficulty.  Some of the treatments have involved biofeedback, vitamins, herbs, massage, stress relief, acupressure, acupuncture, chiropractic care and more.  Some of these treatments help some of the people some of the time. 

In addition to these treatments, there are a variety of medications available today that attack various symptoms and causes of migraines.  Some of the medications are available without prescription and others require prescriptions.  Prescription medication for migraines is often quite expensive and out of reach for many individuals.

There is a new breakthrough for migraines that does not involve any of these other treatments.  The breakthrough is a unique surgery that is only being performed by a handful of surgeons. 

The microsurgery which is performed similar to plastic surgery is performed to take the pressure off a particular nerve in the head that when pinched causes migraines.  The procedure involves cutting part of the muscle that pinches the nerve, thus eliminating the pressure.  After surgery, which decompresses the nerve, the nerve should regenerate itself and should not respond to headaches after healing. 

The procedure works for 80% of the people who have it done, according to Georgetown University Washington Hospital.  In the individuals where the procedure does not work, a subsequent surgery can be performed to remove the nerve completely. 

There are specific symptoms necessary for individuals to have the surgery.  Also, surgery is no small feat.  This is a procedure for when you are at the point where you have tried other treatments that have not worked and you are still having migraines on a regular basis.  If you are in this situation, however, it is good news to know that there is help and relief available.

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Surgery for Migraines?

Written by AnaLise on July 10, 2008 – 9:12 pm -

There are numerous medications and other treatments that are being suggested and used to help migraine sufferers to control or end their migraines.  A lot of the medications available will stop a migraine within a few minutes if taken as the migraine is beginning.  There are other medications that can be taken regularly to keep the migraines away.  There are also treatments that include everything from aromatherapy and massage to ice packs and magnets.

The latest addition to the arsenal against migraines is surgery.  The surgery isn’t new – it has been in use to do facial plastic surgery for quite a while.  Recently, the surgery, which actually removes the corrugator muscle above the eyebrows, has been pioneered in the U.S.  It is felt that this will eliminate migraines in many sufferers because it eliminates the muscle, which interacts negatively with nerves in the area to create migraines.  This is a radical change from traditional migraine treatment and it is a drastic move to treat these debilitating headaches.

The surgery basically eliminates the trigger point of migraines.  By eliminating the muscle there is no longer a point at which the muscle can interact with the surrounding nerves creating extreme pain and pressure.  This will not work on all migraines; it is only designed for migraines that are triggered by the corrugator muscle and this particular group of nerves in the head.  It is necessary to have a screening to determine if a person’s migraines are triggered in this way and if they would be an appropriate candidate for the surgery.

Another essential point is that the surgery, though eliminating the trigger and the pain of migraines, does not eliminate the root cause of the person’s migraines.  This is important because, even if the symptoms and the pain are eliminated, the underlying cause could be a serious physical, biological or physiological issue that needs to be addressed and treated.  Migraines have been linked to many health issues including tumors, aneurism, high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke and more.  Whether or not you decide to explore the surgery you should work with your doctor to determine the actual cause of your migraines.

The fact that this surgery has been discovered may be a source of huge relief to many migraine sufferers.  It is critical to research the ramifications of surgery, as surgery is no small thing and should be avoided unless necessary.  If the cause can be determined and the symptoms can be relieved people with migraines will be able to enjoy day to day life without the pain that migraines bring.

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