When it comes to migraine pain, one size does not fit all. Once upon a time doctors believed that a migraine was certainly an intense and / or recording headaches. Patients experienced debilitating pain, dizziness and vomiting, sometimes forcing them to bed for several days or even to the emergency room for treatment of dehydration. This type of headache pain was thought to have many causes, but today doctors know the most severe cases are often caused by compression of a specific nerve, known as neuralgia. Patients with neuralgia suffer pain caused by the compression of a nerve, possibly due to a structure within the body, usually in the head or neck. Most commonly the problem nerve is located in the occipital area, near where the head and neck meet.
In almost all instances of this type of neuralgia a surgeon can work carefully to remove the obstruction causing pressure, or adjust the internal structure, thus alleviating the pain. This is a fairly non-intrusive surgery, done on an out-patient basis. There is no surgery performed on the nerve itself. Instead, the surgeon focuses on the structures around the nerve creating the problem, opening up the area, removing or moving structures, specifically muscle tissue which is normally the cause. This surgery is meant to alleviate the pressure and in most cases the migraine pain is relieved.
The nerve decompression surgery is done under a general anesthetic and involves making a small incision at the hairline. In almost all cases the patient is advised to rest comfortably for about two weeks and is released home that same day.
Migraine Surgeons And Nerve Decompression Surgery
A migraine surgeon provides the knowledge needed to identify the cause of the compressed nerve. In many cases, a small amount of pressure applied to a specific area will cause an immediate pain reaction in the patient. The migraine surgeon can make the correct diagnosis and help the nerve decompression surgeon make the adjustments required to relieve this pressure. Also, because nerve decompression surgery is fairly non-invasive a patient who does not find their symptoms alleviated can turn to other therapies or treatments.
The most important part of an effective nerve decompression surgery is the correct diagnosis. The migraine surgeon will need to correctly identify the offending area and the specific nerve under pressure. The migraine surgeon can also help identify exactly what is causing the pressure to the nerve and how best to relieve that pressure and bring relief to the patient.