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Migraine Surgery

Woman lying on sofa gripping temples with pained look on face

Offering relief for frequent migraines after other remedies have failed 

Anyone who suffers from frequent migraines knows how painful, debilitating and disruptive these headaches can be. Unfortunately, finding the right treatment can be painful, as well, leaving some patients to suffer for years without an effective solution. But there is hope: Migraine surgery delivers long-awaited relief for many patients whose headaches have not responded to other treatments. 

SLUCare plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Mailey offers migraine surgery for qualified patients, helping individuals to break free from the cycle of crippling headache pain. 

What’s migraine surgery? 

Migraine surgery is a procedure that releases compressed nerves, known as trigger points, that cause headache pain in certain areas, such as the forehead, temples and back of the neck. Relieving nerve compression can decrease the severity of migraine pain, shorten migraine duration, and lessen the frequency of headaches. For some patients, surgery may eliminate migraines altogether. 

The procedure is performed under anesthesia, and patients can go home the same day. Most patients experience relief from migraine pain shortly after surgery. 

Learn more about migraine surgery 

Who’s a candidate for migraine surgery with SLUCare?

Dr. Mailey evaluates each migraine patient individually to determine suitability for surgery. This includes discussion of health history, migraine symptoms and frequency, headache triggers, and previously tried therapies. Dr. Mailey will also review any imaging tests you have related to your migraine pain. 

Generally, patients may be considered for surgery if they meet the following criteria: 

  • 15 or more headaches per month/8 or more migraine days per month
  • Diagnosed by a neurologist with idiopathic migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, or occipital neuralgia
  • CT or MRI scan showing no tumor present
  • History of trying other migraine therapies without success
  • No narcotic use 

Additional testing may be required before deciding whether a patient is a good candidate for surgery. Only candidates who are likely to have a successful outcome will be considered for migraine surgery. 

Schedule a consultation

If you are struggling with persistent migraines and believe you may qualify for surgery, call 314-617-2000 to schedule your personal evaluation with Dr. Brian Mailey.  


Center for Specialized Medicine 
1225 South Grand Blvd., 2L - Door 1 
St. Louis, MO  63104-1016 
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