Arterial Surgery for Migraine - A Real Hope?

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/22/2011 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I have chronic daily headache. The preventers are not working and surgical options seem limited.

Nowhere on the regular headache forums do I encounter comments on the work of , who claims that arterial surgery for migraine can give hope to millions of sufferers. contends that in many patients the headache problem originates not in the brain but in the extracranial blood vessels and arteries. He currently operates on patients on foot of this theory and would appear to be having significant success.  Has anyone heard of this treatment? It is reviewed in respected journals, but I can find no comments from headache specialists on it. My own neurologist had never even heard of .
I have edited this post and would refer you to the Forum Rules about advertising!

Post Edited By Moderator (Annuk) : 11/16/2011 12:18:41 PM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/31/2011 8:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi There,

I have had a chronic headache for 5 months now as the result of a head arterial injury. No specialist I have seen so far has been able to offer me much in the way of a clear diagnosis or treatment and most advocate watchful waiting in the hope that it will resolve of its own accord. I began my own web based research and came across and his clinic and I have communicated with him via email and he seems be confident he can be of some assistance.

I have some concerns; firstly, there is a large disparity between the cost of both diagnosis and surgery for  citizens and for foreigners. Surgery is a flat fee  usd for foreigners and I envisage much less for locals. Sufferers of Chronic pain may often have feelings of desperation and hopelessness that can make them more susceptible to exploitation and Dr Shevels two tiered fee structure raises some serious questions. It can be safely assumed that anyone in a desperate medical situation will pay as much as they can afford in the hope of a cure, and in my opinion, for a Dr to exploit this for gain shines a spotlight on his/her ethics and while this may have no relevance to his / her skills, I feel it needs to be considered when deciding wether or not to proceed with treatment.  I have no issue with anyone charging for their services, but a number of medical professionals I have consulted have raised questions about both the theory behind surgery and also the ethics surrounding the fee structure.

This brings me to my second concern, the theory and surgery are still it seems on the fringes and have not been accepted by many mainstream practitioners working in the field of headaches.

On the pro side, it has been shown that the Superficial temporal artery can be safely ligated (tied off) without serious complications and it appears that the surgery is relatively minor (which again raises concerns about the flat fee) and would carry the same risks as other minor surgical procedures. My point being that if you did decide to proceed with treatment the worst case scenario is likely to be that you are out of pocket  usd mark and perhaps have some small scars around the temporal area and that there has been no improvement.

I am still looking at my options and will proceed with an open but cautious mind and I will continue to do research around  and see if I can find out anything that will expand my knowledge of the success of his treatments. If my headache continues and no one here can help me I may take punt and travel to  but it will it appears, be a gamble.

I did come across an interview with him and a specialist neurologist on a local  TV program and the neurologist seemed to be suggesting that he did not agree with  opinions and that his claims were not backed up by scientific data. I will see if I can find the link to it and post it on here.

I am also wary of testimonials and in the age of the internet, it is very easy to populate a site with glowing letters from happy customers, I am even more wary of doctors who utilize this form of marketing.

I really hope I haven’t been a big downer, I am not trying to be anything other than the voice of reason and hope I have given you some info that has been useful. I will keep you updated with anything I find out and I hope your headaches are not too bad right now



I have edited this post and would refer you to the Forum Rules about Advertising!

Post Edited By Moderator (Annuk) : 11/16/2011 12:22:31 PM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/8/2011 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the response. I was unaware that charged such very high fees to people not resident in This is disappointing. Another problem of course is that, on examination, he may not find that I am suitable for surgery at all. His other solution to headache - an intra-oral mouth guard device - does not sound so promising to me.
The fact this his work appears in peer-reviwed journals like Brain gave me a real sense of hope, but I must admit to be taken aback by the extraordinary fees.
At this point, I have read almost everything by or about on the Internet. I may contact the clinic directly and ask if that fee strcuture still stands and what the procedures/options are for those travelling to for treatment with regard to diagnosis, etc.
Thanks again for the reply. If you dissover any more details, it would be great if you could post.
Best of luck
I have edited your post and would refer you to the Forum Rules about Advertising!

Post Edited By Moderator (Annuk) : 11/16/2011 12:21:28 PM (GMT-7)

The Headache Clinic
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/16/2011 2:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear LifeGardner,

Patients from are able to undertake treatment in a step by step by step fashion. The general time period for  patients would be between one and two months before we felt relatively confident about achieving a permanent result. Although in some cases permanent results can be instant.

Patients flying in from overseas for a short period of time are generally unable to return for follow¬-ups and present an entirely more demanding challenge to our team. We have a two week period to achieve a permanent result and we need to summon significantly more resources if we are to achieve this.

The cost of the arterial ligation surgery for  patients does not include many things too numerous to details that are included in the cost for overseas patients. Chief among these are 3D tomography scanning conducted by  personal attention for two weeks.
In comparison to the cost of attending other headache facilities who admit patients and administer drugs with no lasting results we are very well priced. Certain international patients also require total privacy and may require us to close the clinic down to other patients while they are with us. For more information on these VIP options, or on the current costs, please contact our general manager
From an ethical perspective conducts approximately ten free operations each month.

We can by no means guarantee success but our job is to load the dice in your favor and give you the best idea of what your odds are of achieving a permanent improvement in your condition, your quality of life, and your drug intake if any. As a general rule, if any of the vasoconstriction drugs work for you as a rescue medication then you should talk to  about arterial ligation.

With regard to the theory behind arterial ligation, the role of the extracranial arteries as a source of pain has been very well documented. A literature review was recently published in ‘Headache’, the official journal of the  Even so there will always be detractors to medical breakthroughs for a litany of reasons.
The surgery is not limited to cauterization of one artery (the superficial temporal). In patients with arterial pain, the frontal branch of the superficial temporal, the parietal branch of the superficial temporal, and the occipital arteries on both sides may be involved. In addition, in many patients, the supra-orbital, posterior auricular, maxillary, and angular arteries are also involved.

While it is certainly possible to populate a website with false testimonials, it would be no easy matter to arrange a large cohort of individuals from all over  and the world willing to give their personal details on the internet. The original PDF copies of all letters we have received including patientsI
contact details are available at this address 

Wishing you pain free nights and days

The Headache Clinic Team
I have edited this post and would refer you to the forum rules about advertising as this is not allowed!!!!

Post Edited By Moderator (Annuk) : 11/16/2011 12:20:01 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 11/16/2011 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   

I would be very concerned about the efficacy of this surgery, and have heard many stories of complications that have worsened the original condition.

If nothing works for you talk to your Neuro about ONS (Occipital Nerve Stimulation) I have had it done and it really works!!!!!!!

take care

Co-Moderator of the Migraine/Headache Forum

DX: Hemicrania Continua, Chronic Migraine, IBS, Allergic Rhinitis and Heart Murmur

Meds: Imigran Injections, High Flow Oxygen, Mebeverine, Lansoprazole, Nasonex and Clarityn

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/5/2012 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Ann - hi I am new to the site and gave another member information on my surgeon's website. Is this going to be edited? I would think that since I have had the surgery, that I believe you are questioning, giving another member useful information for them to decide for themselves, would be ok. I don't feel that I'm advertising. Just sharing my experience.
My doctor has a very specific screening process for patients to see if they would be a candidate for this procedure. He doesn't just operate on anyone who thinks it might help. There are certain things that he looks for in the physical exam and in your past treatments successes or failures. He has about an 85 percent success rate. I had my occipital region done. He removed the two lesser nerves and removed muscle from around the other four. I didn't have a migraine for a solid three months following surgery. My headaches, that I've had for almost 20 years now, used to begin in the base of my skull, travel up over my right temple, and once it planted itself in the inside corner of my eyebrow I was vomiting. Since surgery, it doesn't go beyond the back of my head, but now, one year later, it sits in my neck and shoulders. Even though they're not nearly as intense, I am beginning to have them often. So on Feb 10 I'm having surgery again and he is going to remove the four nerves. They are just sensory nerves, so a little numbness, I can deal with. Please don't remove that info from my first post - it may really help someone.
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