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A migraine is a severe, often very painful headache that can be preceded or accompanied by sensory changes such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, and even nausea and vomiting. The intense pain can last for hours or even days. A chronic migraine is a headache that can have tension-type or migraine characteristics and can occur greater than 15 days per month for at least 3 months.
If medication fails to provide relief, Botox® injections may be an option for the treatment for the migraines. In October 2010, the FDA approved the use of Botox for chronic migraines.
Understanding the Procedure
The Botox is injected into the forehead, temples, back of head or the neck — normally at 90-day intervals, though the duration of the Botox varies by individual. The injection generally takes 3 to 10 days to reach maximum effect.
What to Expect Afterwards
Botox® injections rarely have side effects. Transient stinging at the injection site, bruising and some swelling may be noted for a few days after the injection. A cold compress may be used to relieve the pain and swelling. Temporary drooping of the upper eyelids and temporary hollowing of the temples may also occur.
Is Botox Treatment for Migraines Right for You?
Recent studies indicate that 80% of patients experienced elimination or significant improvement of their migraine headaches following Botox® injection. If you suffer from migraines, it might be a viable option for you. Dr. Moradzadeh can advise you.
Trigger Point Surgery
Patients who have not responded to other treatments for migraines may consider a surgical alternative. “Trigger point” surgery, performed by Dr. Moradzadeh, can eliminate or significantly reduce migraine pain by removing triggering sites, such as small muscles or blood vessels pinching cranial nerves or a deviated nasal septum that can trigger sinus headaches.
The surgery is performed under local anesthesia or sedation as an outpatient procedure. Scientific studies conducted with patients who undergo this procedure have shown that approximately 90 percent respond favorably to it. Many of these patients have reported a drastic reduction in the frequency and intensity of migraines or report absence of migraine pain following the surgery.