American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Migraine Surgery

Chronic Headache Relief

The goal of migraine surgery is to reduce or eliminate headache frequency, duration and pain by surgically releasing pressure points around the head.

What are the risks of migraine surgery?

The decision to have migraine surgery is an extremely personal one. You'll have to decide if the potential benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of migraine surgery are acceptable.

Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with these operative procedures and you will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the operation(s) you will undergo.

The possible risks of migraine surgery include, but are not limited to:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Asymmetry in muscle functions
  • Bleeding, perhaps requiring a transfusion
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Hematoma
  • Infection
  • Permanent numbness or other changes in skin sensation
  • Persistent pain
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Possible need for secondary procedures should, for example, a neuroma occur
  • Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
  • Skin loss
  • Suboptimal aesthetic results
  • Unfavorable and/or visible scarring

These risks will be fully discussed prior to your consent and it is critical that you have a frank and thorough dialogue with your surgeon about his/her experience with these complications and the likelihood of their occurrence. Furthermore, it is very important that you have the opportunity to address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.


Patient Care Center