Suffer from migraines? Plastic surgery may offer relief

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Are you or a loved one living in pain and unable to function because of migraines? If you’ve exhausted all your treatment options and are still suffering, you may be a candidate for plastic surgery. 
We’re helping to create options for migraine sufferers who have nowhere else to turn. If you’ve tried everything that’s been recommended and it’s still not working, there may be a solution for you with a plastic surgeon. 
For more than a decade, board certified plastic surgeons with expertise like myself have performed nerve surgeries designed to relieve headaches (for example, migraines and neuralgias). 
 
This type of surgery is both safe and effective, and there’s 20 years’ worth of data to support that it works for many patients, including those who may have failed medical management. Overall, the results are impressive for patients who have undergone the surgery at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. Over 94% say they’ve had significant improvement or elimination of headaches. For some patients, this surgery is literally giving them their life back because migraines can be very debilitating. 
 
Here’s how it works
 
Migraines can be associated with compression and irritation of sensory nerves and vessels around your head. We use BOTOX or anesthetic injection to help figure out a patient’s trigger sites. This helps us identify areas of discomfort believed to be caused by nerve compression, entrapment or irritation. Based on the results, we then decide if surgery is an option. If it is, and based on the trigger site(s), we may remove muscle, fascia, bone or blood vessels that affect the nerves, potentially offering significant improvement in pain. 
 
Note that this is a highly specialized surgery and typically lasts two to four hours, depending on the number of trigger sites. It’s typically outpatient. The recovery period is four to six weeks and requires no lifting of objects heavier than a gallon of milk or any type of activity that causes you to sweat or raise your blood pressure or heart rate. You also can’t swim, use a curling iron or have your hair chemically treated. It takes about three months to determine the success of the surgery.
 
Jeffrey Janis is a plastic surgeon at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He’s also immediate past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and current president of the Columbus Medical Association.