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MUSC Health’s surgeons perform migraine surgery on Denise Stout at Ashley River Tower.

Patient Evaluation

In order to be considered for treatment at the MUSC Health Advanced Migraine Surgery Program, you must first have an official diagnosis of migraine headaches or occipital neuralgia from a neurologist or headache specialist. Those who gain the most benefit from our evaluation include patients with:

  • An official diagnosis of migraine headaches or occipital neuralgia
  • Migraine headaches that are poorly controlled by medications
  • Undesirable side effects from medications used to treat their migraines
  • Migraine headaches and difficulty breathing through their nose
  • A desire to live their life without migraine headaches

Prior to your initial consultation, we strongly encourage that you complete and return the new patient questionnaire forms.

This information will be very pertinent in determining our course of care for you as a new migraine patient. Please also plan to bring the original copy of these documents with you to your first appointment.

During your initial evaluation at the MUSC Health Advanced Migraine Surgery Program, we will review your medical history including current and past migraine treatments. We will then discuss your treatment options in accordance with your treatment goals. It is at this point in time that our team develops a personalized treatment plan which best fits your needs and brings you closer to the possibility of a life without migraines.

Depending upon your individual situation, it may be recommended that the first step in the process of treating your migraine headaches is with an injection of Botox® or local anesthetic at the migraine trigger site(s) that are symptomatic. This may provide important prognostic information for our team as well as providing you with migraine relief.

Patients whose symptoms are relieved by local injections of Botox® may be the most likely candidates for the surgical procedure. Other factors, such as previous treatments, medication success or failure, medication side effects, and migraine severity and duration, also determine a patient's suitability for surgery.