Categories: Neurology

Migraine Surgery

Surgery for Migraine Headaches:

Migraine is a recurring headache that often affects one side of the head. Nausea and disturbed vision often accompany the headache.

Surgery of nerves in the head can be a treatment for migraine headaches. Surgery under local or general anaesthesia can last for about one to two hours.

Surgery for patients with multiple migraine triggers could take longer. This is not brain surgery and does not involve skull bones.

Migraine surgery success:

Studies show that migraine surgery usually has a success rate above 70 percent. Approximately one in three patients are fully cured of migraines. Patients having had successful surgery experience a decrease in migraine frequency, intensity, duration. They are able to live a pain-free life.

Who needs migraine surgery:

  • Patients diagnosed with migraines by a neurologist. Not every headache is a migraine attack.
  • Patients with areas of nerve compression
  • Other factors include failure of medical treatment, side effects from medications and migraine attack severity. Patients with a favourable response to Botox® or local anaesthetic injections have good success rates with migraine surgery.

Side effects:

Most complications from migraine surgery are minor and temporary and can vary depending on the surgery. Complications may include problems with the healing of wounds, bleeding, damage to the nerve injuries and recurring migraine headaches.

Less risk of scars from migraine surgery as most of the incisions is hidden in the scalp or in the upper eyelid.


An average of two weeks. Some temporary swelling, bruising may result but they subside within the healing period. Most patients return to normal life within a fortnight.

Patients may be advised to avoid strenuous exercise for up to 21 days, depending on the specific nerves that were dealt with during the surgery.

Dr. Dev Shuvendu Roy, Consultant – Head & Neck Surgery – Oncology, Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Kolkata

Narayana Health

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