Candidates for Migraine Surgery

Headache Treatment Options

Management of migraines usually starts with various medications and a healthy regimen of diet and exercise. However, you may not experience relief from traditional forms of treatment, especially when symptoms are severe. If you have not had success using other methods, surgery may be an optimal option.

Migraine surgery is an outpatient procedure that can reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of migraine episodes. The treatment involves the surgical deactivation of the trigger sites along different areas of the skull and face. This procedure is not for everyone, but appropriate candidates for migraine surgery may decrease or eliminate the debilitating effects of their condition.

Although the surgery is typically non-invasive, it is important to consult a board-certified neurologist and a qualified surgeon before choosing this treatment. Dr. Guyuron and Dr. Totonchi, are two of the leading surgeons specializing in migraine surgery, and expert neurologist Dr. Ansari as a team have helped many patients reap the benefits of this innovative procedure. Studies have found migraine surgery to be 80-90% effective in patients who were properly assessed by a medical expert. If you believe you are a potential candidate for migraine surgery based on the information below, consult with a medical expert at our San Diego clinic or other offices around the country.

Checklist for Potential Migraine Surgery Candidates

Patients who have tried multiple medications but have not experienced benefits from traditional treatments might be considered good candidates for migraine surgery. This includes migraine sufferers who do not respond positively to medications or have not had success with alternative diet and exercise plans. Although migraines are three times more prevalent in women than in men, patients of both genders have equally experienced success in reduction of their symptoms through our surgical procedures.

You would be a candidates for migraine surgery if you fulfill all or some of the following criteria:

  • You have been diagnosed with migraines or occipital neuralgia by a neurologist
  • You have identifiable trigger points, meaning you can point to the site/sites which migraine headaches start from
  • Your migraine headaches persist even with medical treatment or have suffered side effects from current treatments
  • Your migraine headaches are perhaps under control with Botox but you are looking for a permanent solution rather than many injections every three months
  • You have a persistent headache or face pain after head/face trauma or a concussion
  • You are taking medication for headaches more than two times per week, including over-the-counter medications like Excedrin

Migraine Surgery Evaluations

To determine if surgery is appropriate, most patients are first evaluated by a local neurologist and diagnosed with chronic migraine headaches. At our clinic, board-certified neurologist Dr. Ansari can assess candidates for migraine surgery in San Diego and across the country in person or through a virtual visit.

If you are determined to be a good candidate for the treatment, Dr. Ansari and the surgical team will then evaluate your migraine “trigger sites.” Located in various sites around the head and face. These sites can be deactivated through surgical means to reduce or eliminate pain altogether. The migraine specialists at our practice can identify these precise trigger sites and determine what surgical procedures may help alleviate your headaches.

Professional Consultations for Migraine Surgery Candidates

It is important to note that migraine surgery is a growing field. Candidates should seek the professional advice and care of a neurologist who specializes in migraines and headaches. Migraine surgery is a very individualized procedure, so it is crucial to work with a well-experienced surgeon.

Dr. Guyuron is the pioneer of migraine surgery and has done thousands of migraine surgery procedures over the last 21+ years.

Dr. Totonchi has been involved with migraine surgery treatment and research for many years, participating in pioneering efforts alongside Dr. Bahman Guyuron through a postdoctoral research fellowship, residency program, and clinical fellowship. Since 2006, Dr. Totonchi has also served as faculty for an annual course on surgical treatment of migraine headaches. He is an established expert in the field, participating in numerous publications, lectures, and panels on the topic of migraine treatment, and currently serving as the president-elect of the Migraine Surgery Society.

Dr. Ansari is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and has a certification in headache medicine from the United Council of Neurological Subspecialties. He has presented around the country and across the globe on headache and neurology-related topics.

When it comes to migraine surgery, our founder Dr. Guyuron wrote the book, and there are few as informed and experienced as Dr. Totonchi, Dr. Ansari, and the staff at the Headache Surgery Experts. Our team works with candidates for migraine surgery in San Diego and throughout the country, and we can further explain your options for relieving migraine headache pain. Call us today to schedule your appointment.