Migraine headaches are a surprisingly common and profoundly debilitating ailment that affects approximately 1 in 8 Americans. Migraines are considered chronic if the headaches last longer than 4 hours and occur 15 or more days per month. Numerous medical therapies exist, and people often seek care from their primary care provider or a neurologist. At UVA Plastic Surgery, our plastic surgeons are highly experienced in both surgical and nonsurgical migraine treatments in Charlottesville and Fishersville to give patients lasting relief and a renewed quality of life.
Migraine Surgery Surgeons
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BOTOX® Cosmetic was FDA approved in 2010 for the treatment of chronic migraines with very positive results. Patients must be at least 18 years old to receive BOTOX treatments. These injections work proactively to temporarily relax the muscles that cause migraine headaches. The surgeon injects BOTOX with a tiny needle into specific points on the forehead, scalp, and neck muscles. Treatments must be repeated every 12 weeks. While not all patients respond to these treatments, those who do are usually good candidates for migraine surgery.
Surgical migraine treatment aims to release tethered facial and scalp nerves thought to be responsible for triggering migraine headaches. The surgeon performs this procedure, called surgical nerve decompression, as outpatient surgery using either local anesthetic with IV sedation or general anesthetic. The details of the actual surgery depend on the location(s) of the trapped nerves, which may be in one or more of the following areas:
- Back of the head, where the head meets the neck
- Inside the nasal passages
This incredibly effective treatment works well for properly chosen patients whose migraines are not controlled by other medical therapies.