Migraines after open heart surgery

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/7/2007 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I'm new here..... I had open heart surgery to repair mitral valve on July 18th. I have had 21 migraine with aura since then, sometimes 2 a day.  I did have migraine with aura before the surgery but never with this frequency. None of the doctors are making a connection but I am. Had anyone experienced this?
I am taking Migrelief, 100 mg propranolol and 325 mg aspirin a day (this is for post surgery only).
I am looking for an correlation between the surgery and increased migraines with aura..........also am hoping this will be temporary. I am only 35 and am otherwise healthy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 9/9/2007 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Birkigirl,

Welcome to Healing Well. Sorry to hear that you are suffering with so much Migraine! I am not qualified to give a medical opinion as we are all just sufferers here, but I think you may have a point, I will try to explain.

There is often a correlation between Migraine with Aura and a hole in the heart (PFO - Patent Foremen Ovule) This is because the hole in the heart can create very tiny blood clots and they get washed through the blood stream and create the headache. Now with any surgery the blood has to clot to enable us to heal and during the surgery very tiny pieces of plaque(lining of the blood vessels) can break off and give a headache after surgery.

So this may sound funny but it maybe all part of the healing process after your surgery. So hopefully this will pass, but please keep discussing this with your Doctors as this is only my personal speculation here!

Hope you can get some relief very soon.

Take care

Co-Moderator of the Migraine/Headache Forum

Mary B.
New Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/9/2007 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   


Migraine with aura is well associated with MVP and with PFO. I am assuming you do not have a PFO since you underwent a complete work up before surgery.

I have seen several cases of migraine either new onset or exaserbation after surgery or a severe infection. We don't know why yet but I suspect it is due to the physiologic stress on the body.  If you are less than 10 weeks post op you are still healing.

None the less a change in the quality or frequency of your migraines is cause for an MRI of the brain. Please tell your doctor about this and request the same.  Keep an eye on the aspirin (I know you do have to be on it) but it might be contributing to the headaches. They most probably will prescribe some short term meds to get you through this or refer to you a neurologist if you don't already see one.

Good luck,

Mary Kay

Headache Specialist

Dent Neurologic Institute

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