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How Reconstructive Surgery Can Treat Migraines

Written by prositesdentalOct 13 • 2 minute read

Migraines are a type of headache that can causes a variety of debilitating symptoms, include persistent pain, nausea, and even sensitivity to light and sound. This common health condition can affect anyone and comes in different types. Some of those types include migraines with a specific set of sensory symptoms known as an aura, as well as episodic migraines, chronic migraines, and silent migraines.

While you can contain some migraines with over-the-counter medications, you can also benefit from preventive treatment options like reconstructive surgery. Continue reading to learn more about how this treatment might provide the relief you’re looking for.

How Migraines Occur

The specific cause of a migraine is still a mystery. However, current studies show that temporal changes in the nerves, blood vessels, and chemicals in the brain are possible causes. With advanced technology today, studies confirm that chemical compounds, like serotonin and estrogen, play a role in the pain sensitivity of those with migraines. Serotonin affects both genders, while estrogen affects only women. Theoretically, migraines can occur when waves of activity by excitable brain cells trigger the above chemical compounds to narrow blood vessels. The contraction of blood vessels in the brain can cause throbbing pain and make the facial and scalp nerves even more sensitive. A migraine may be prompted by the following:

  • Stress and strong emotions
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in circadian rhythm
  • Flickering lights/exposure to lights
  • Exposure to certain smells
  • Weather changes
  • Some foods and drinks

Migraine Trigger Sites

Migraines are classified based on the part of your head that triggers them. The most common trigger points/sites include:

  • Temporal migraines start at the temples
  • Frontal migraines begin above the eyes or around your forehead
  • Occipital migraines start as a piercing, throbbing pain at the back of the neck
  • Rhinogenic migraines start inside or behind the nose

Reconstructive Solutions

Reconstructive surgery can be a permanent solution to your migraines. Plastic and reconstructive surgery can alleviate the pressure on the migraine trigger points to significantly reduce headache frequency and duration.

Preoperative diagnosis of all migraine trigger points is crucial for a successful surgery. In many cases, your surgeon will also explore all nerve branches to determine the ideal and safest way to perform the surgery. Your doctor can consider nerve transection if migraine symptoms persist, even after a thorough diagnosis and decompression.

The Basics of Migraine Reconstructive Surgery

If your doctor recommends reconstructive surgery to address your migraines, the surgeon will perform the procedure while you are under general anesthesia. Your recovery rate will depend on the number of trigger points the surgeon operates on.  Recovery generally takes several weeks before you’re completely healed. Relief from migraine symptoms can also take several weeks, depending on the type of surgery.

It is vital to your recovery that you adhere to all of your surgeon’s instructions before, during, and after surgery. Many patients can return to light activities a week after surgery. However, it may take a month or more of healing before you can return to more strenuous tasks.

Final Thoughts

Patients typically report a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of migraine headaches after reconstructive surgery. However, not all headaches require reconstructive migraine surgery. You should consult your physician if you have tried different pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies without much success to see if reconstructive surgery is right for you.

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