A Team Approach
Since he’s not a neurologist, Dr. Janis says he doesn’t diagnose migraines. Rather, he works with neurologists who do. Those neurologists know migraine surgery is an option for their migraine patients who have tried and failed usual standard medical therapy.
“The surgeons who do migraine surgery represent an alternative option,” Dr. Janis says. “Patients with chronic migraines basically live their lives either having a headache or waiting for the next one to happen. Many have tried and failed traditional treatments and many other things, such as massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, electrical stimulation, behavioral feedback, menthol patches, yoga and more. They’ve seen a whole host of doctors, including neurologists, primary care physicians, family physicians and pain management specialists. I call these patients “kitchen sink patients” because they’ve tried everything but the kitchen sink by the time they find me.”
Migraine surgery can help some — not all — migraine sufferers, he says.
The best candidates are patients in whom there is a high suspicion of nerve compression causing their headaches. Then, surgeons like Dr. Janis can design what is usually one or a series of outpatient procedures to treat the nerve compression.
Most patients, he says, get at least a 50% improvement in either the number of headaches, the severity of headaches or how long those headaches last. Some benefit in all three areas. Some have complete elimination of their headaches, he says.