3144 El Camino Real Suite 200 Carlsbad, CA 92008



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3144 El Camino Real Suite 200, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Migraine Surgery

Migraines are not regular headaches, and the accompanying symptoms and pain can be debilitating. Migraines cause throbbing pain in a specific region of the head and can be associated with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. This procedure is designed to treat migraines related to certain muscular or nervous trigger points.

Candidates for Migraine Surgery

Dr. D’Souza will work with you to isolate the trigger point, which is a sensitive spot on your face or scalp that can cause localized or ‘referred’ pain in another location of the body when pressed. Trigger points in the scalp are confirmed using a BOTOX® injection to the area. A trigger point in the nose is diagnosed using a spray.

Once the trigger point is determined, a tailored surgical plan will be created. Ideal candidates for migraine surgery meet the following criteria:

– Have tried other migraine treatments, including medications and lifestyle changes, with no results
– Have been diagnosed with occipital neuralgia or migraines by a neurologist
– Have had a good response to BOTOX® injections
– Are in good general health and have realistic expectations

Some cosmetic procedures can be performed alongside migraine surgery, including brow lift, rhinoplasty, or eyelid surgery. Dr. D’Souza can discuss these options with you during your consultation.

Migraine Surgery Options

Migraine surgery is performed in the operating room under anesthesia. Incisions may be hidden within the hairline or in the creases of the eyelids. Migraine surgery can take between one and four hours to complete.

The surgical technique used will depend on the location of the trigger point(s). A trigger point is the location of the nerves that are causing the headaches.


Migraines that begin in the forehead can be treated by decompressing specific nerves in the eyebrows.


Temporal migraines begin in the temples and may spread up or down toward the ears. There are two nerves in this region that may be compressed by connective tissues. A surgical procedure can be performed to decompress these nerves.


If the migraine originates behind the eyes, it may be caused by pressure on the nasal septum by the turbinates (structures in the nose that help moisten and warm air). The incision will be made between your nostrils.
Turbinectomy: Bone and soft tissue can be removed from the nasal passages.
Septoplasty: If the pressure is caused by a deviated septum, septoplasty can be performed to straighten it.


Pressure on the occipital nerve can cause migraines that originate in the back of the head or neck. A procedure can be performed to close off small branches of the occipital artery, reducing pressure on the nerves.


For some patients, BOTOX® injections can be used to reduce or prevent migraines. BOTOX® prevents nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. Several injections will be made every 12 weeks or so, and you may experience relief in as few as three weeks.

Recovery and Results

After surgery, the incision site will likely be covered with medical bandages to help minimize any swelling or bruising. Your bandages will be removed the following day, and you will be able to shower after 24 hours. We ask that you stay at our adjoining hotel or nearby for the first night. Bruising and swelling will be present for one to two weeks, but most patients can resume normal activities around the house in three to four days. Discomfort can be controlled with oral medication. Scarring typically heals very well and is usually hidden behind the ear or within the hairline.

Patients often notice improvement immediately, but it may take several months to see the full effects. There is a slight chance that your migraines will not improve significantly. If this occurs, it is most likely caused by multiple trigger sites and may require an additional procedure. It is rare to see no improvement after surgery.

Out-of-Town Patients

At Iconic Plastic Surgery, we want to make sure our patients coming in from out of town feel comfortable and welcome. Our surgical center is conveniently located near San Diego International Airport and John Wayne Airport, as well as a variety of five-star hotels. Our practice managers can help you with your travel plans and make arrangements with an aftercare provider for 24-hour assistance following your procedure.

Migraine Surgery Cost

The cost of your migraine surgery will depend on several factors, including facility, anesthesia, and surgeon’s fees. Insurance coverage will also have an impact on the cost of your procedure. Contact your insurance provider to determine your coverage options.


To schedule your migraine surgery consultation with Dr. D’Souza, please contact Iconic Plastic Surgery by calling 760-637-5288 today!

Iconic Migraine SX