Surgical Procedures for Headache

Surgery may needed in people with sinus headache, such as when you have problems in the nose passages or growths that block them from draining. It is rare for other headaches.

If other steps don't help your cluster headaches, some doctors may suggest cutting or harming some nerves in the face. But, the nerve may grow back.

Surgeries for sinus headache are:


Septoplasty fixes a deviated septum. This is the wall that sets apart the left and right sides of the nose. The septum will be taken out or put it in the proper place.

Deviated Septum

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Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)

FESS opens the passages of the nose to make them drain better and let the sinuses go back to normal. A thin tube is put in the nose to look at the openings into the sinuses and to remove anything blocking them. This may be done with the help of a CT scan.

Surgery for Cluster Headache

There are many surgeries that could be done if you don't get better with other methods. Nerves may be stimulated or harmed to do this.

Surgery for Migraine Headache

In some people, migraines start when a nerve in the head is stimulated. This surgery finds the nerve and and turns it off. This may make the headaches go away or make you have fewer headaches if you don't get better with other methods.


Cluster headache. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated March 20, 2018. Accessed December 19, 2018.
Fact sheet: deviated septum. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: Accessed December 19, 2018.
Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS) The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition. Cephalalgia. 2018 Jan;38(1):1-211.
Migraine in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated November 8, 2018. Accessed December 19, 2018.
NINDS headache information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: Accessed December 19, 2018.
Tension-type headache. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated March 20, 2018. Accessed December 19, 2018.
11/10/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance Guyuron B, Reed D, Kriegler JS, et al. A placebo-controlled surgical trial of the treatment of migraine headaches. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009;124(2):461-468.
Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 1/15/2019

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