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Reader's Mail: Surgery for Headache?

Q. I have been getting headaches for 15 months and it’s starting to make me depressed. I can’t live a normal life. The doctor says it’s stress. I don’t feel stressed, but he has me taking amitriptyline. It seems to work slightly, but after nine months I don’t think it’s ever going to cure this condition. Is there a surgical procedure to control headaches?

A. There have been some recent reports of surgical success for some migraine sufferers who have had cosmetic surgical procedures. However, it is not clear that you have migraine headaches, and I think it would be premature to consider surgery for someone who has only had headaches for 15 months and who has tried only one medication. I understand that you are frustrated with your situation. If your healthcare professional is not able to work with you to try other treatment options, then I would suggest you ask for a referral to a headache specialist.

Christina Peterson, M.D.
The Oregon Headache Clinic
Milwaukie, OR

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