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Home / Procedures / Migraine Relief

Surgical Migraine Treatment

Twelve percent of Americans suffer from migraines, a severe type of headache that also causes neurological symptoms (e.g., nausea, visual disturbances). Migraines can be incapacitating, sometimes lasting up to 72 hours or longer. Individuals whose migraines are unresponsive to standard medical or pharmacological therapy or lifestyle modifications may be interested in surgical intervention.

In year 2000, Dr. Guyuron pioneered the surgical treatment of migraines through a procedure called nerve decompression surgery (migraine surgery). As the leading authority on migraine surgery and one of the best plastic surgeons in Ohio and internationally, Dr. Guyuron now trains other plastic surgeons to use his surgical techniques, which have provided numerous patients lasting relief.

Dr. Guyuron also frequently shares his techniques with other plastic surgeons internationally through lectures during symposia and courses.

Click here to read an article on the effectiveness of migraine surgery in younger patients.

The Evolution of Migraine Surgery

Dr. Guyuron discovered migraine surgery by accident in 1999, after his plastic surgery patients told him that they had not suffered a migraine since her forehead lift. Dr. Guyuron began to study the procedure and its effects on those with migraines; he found that out of 314 of his forehead lift patients, 31 of 39 that previously reported migraine headaches experienced “significant improvement or elimination of” migraine headaches.

Dr. Guyuron theorized that the majority of migraines occur when the peripheral branches of the trigeminal nerve become irritated and release neurotoxins. Based on his understanding, Dr. Guyuron adapted forehead lift into nerve decompression surgery. He identified multiple trigger points around the face — mostly on the forehead, temple, back of the head and behind the eyes — and developed specific surgical techniques for each trigger site.

Dr. Guyuron has published more than 26 peer-reviewed articles, offering evidence-based proof as to the efficacy of this operation. In most of these articles, somewhere between 80 percent to 92 percent of the patients reported minimum 50 percent reduction in migraine headaches and roughly 1/3 of the patients experienced complete elimination of the headaches. He uses objective evidences such as ultrasound Doppler and CT scan to identify the trigger sites.

Dr. Guyuron instructs his patients to refrain from consumption of aspirin, NSAIDs and herbal products for three weeks before and a week after the surgery.

What Happens During Migraine Surgery

Depending on the site migraine surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with or without sedation and/or general anesthesia. It takes Dr. Guyuron 14 to 45 minutes and rarely an hour to deactivate each trigger point. This could involve removing a small portion of the muscle that is pinching the cranial nerves, or correcting a deviated septum that is protruding into the other structures and compressing the nerves. To watch Dr. Guyuron perform live migraine surgery, click here.

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Dr. Guyuron welcomes new patients! Complete a quick form to request an appointment, and we will call you to schedule within one business day. You may also call us at 440-461-7999.

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Dr. Guyuron offers virtual consultations (Skype, Facetime) to evaluate and discuss the surgical options for you.

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