Migraine Surgery

Harvey Chim, MD, FACS

With the addition of Harvey W. Chim, MD, FACS, the University of Florida College of Medicine’s division of plastic and reconstructive surgery now offers surgical treatment for patients with intractable migraine headaches.

Migraines and their Impact

A migraine is a severe type of headache with symptoms that include nausea, vomiting and light and sound sensitivity. Migraines are usually characterized by throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Migraines affect more than 36 million Americans, and cost the country more than $20 billion each year. The World Health Organization ranks migraines as a “Top 10” disabling disease. Though there is no cure for migraines, surgery provides those suffering with migraines a long-term solution for symptom relief.

Four Main Trigger Sites

Patients who experience migraine pain starting from one of four main trigger sites can likely benefit from surgical relief. Those sites are:

  • Forehead – Pain at the forehead trigger site centers around the eyebrows. The main muscles involved in frowning compress nerves. Surgery at this site includes removal of the muscles with an incision at the hairline or through the upper eyelid.
  • Temple – Pain at this trigger site is located on either of the temples. Surgery will remove the nerves that provide sensations to the temples.
  • Nasal – A trigger site pain will results in symptoms of pain behind the eyes that is caused by a deviated septum and enlarged tubinates. For relief, surgery will straighten the septum and decrease the size of the turbinates.
  • Back of the head – Pain at the back of the neck is caused by the compression of the greater occipital nerve. A small incision in the midline of the neck and a nerve decompression will provide relief.

Who qualifies for migraine surgery?

  • Those with a migraine diagnosis from a neurologist
  • Those who have found no relief from non-surgical treatments
  • Patients who can identify specific areas of the head where a migraine starts before the pain spreads
  • Patients who have been diagnosed with occipital neuralgia
  • Those who have experienced previous trauma or whiplash, which resulted in a constant headache at the back of the neck

To make an appointment for a migraine surgery consultation, please call 352.265.8402.