If you suffer from migraine headaches and traditional medicines have failed to provide relief, Dr. Julio Clavijo-Alvarez performs migraine surgery. The surgery works by decompressing specific nerves and releasing trigger points. We also offer BOTOX® treatments to help mitigate migraine headaches, and we will recommend surgery only when all other options fail.
Dr. Alvarez: My name is Julio Clavijo Alvarez. I was born in Colombia, South America. I trained at the University of Pittsburgh, one of the biggest training centers in the country, and a board certified plastic surgeon. Migraines are a disease very close to my heart because my mom suffered with it. I had the opportunity to train with one of the persons who created a surgical procedure to improve it. I was able to correct my mom's problem and help many other people in the road.
Kristin: My name's Kristin. I started coming to Re-Nova Plastic Surgery about a little over a year ago. I came for my migraines. I've had them for 14 years.
Dr. Alvarez: In the same way that I saw my mom suffer from migraine headaches, I can see how many patients cannot do normal things that we do. Migraine surgery in well-selected patients might be the tool that will help you to recover your life.
Kristin: I would call off work. They were very debilitating. I would lie in bed all day in a dark room, wouldn't be able to get up. The next day, I still had a headache. It wouldn't go away. No matter how much medicine I took, it just didn't fix the problem. I went to a lot of doctors to try and find relief. They would just prescribe me more medicine or up the doses of my medicine, never asking me where or how they were, just to try to get rid of them. And then I came here and he asked me all kinds of different questions I've never heard of, just to pinpoint where they were, and how bad they were on a scale of one to 10.
Dr. Alvarez: I have several successes with the treatment of migraine headaches. Many of my patients have successfully improved their condition after failing traditional treatments.
Kristin: The first appointment I had with Dr. Clavijo, he asked me where the migraines were, and I was like they're just anywhere, it's my whole head. And, he'd be like, well point to them, and I didn't know how to do that. So a month went by, and he had me taking pictures of where my migraines were. He'd be like okay, just point to your forehead, like they're right here, or use both hands and they were like on my temples, and I would just take pictures, and I've never had to do that before.
Dr. Alvarez: There are multiple things that can be done for migraine patients: medications, Botox, and now surgeries available. Surgery is only reserved for those patients who have failed treatment with medications or Botox.
Kristin: So, once I pinpointed everything and he had seen they were behind my eyes, within the eyes. He looked up my nose. No doctor has looked up my nose before. And, he said that I had a blockage, and I was like okay. So, I got a CT scan, he's seeing that my nasal septum was crooked, and so we decided to take it out. And, it was about a week of recovery. It wasn't bad at all. Not really painful or anything.
Dr. Alvarez: Migraine surgery was inspired by the execution of cosmetic procedures in the face, facelifts, eyebrow lifts, blepharoplastics. By accident, it was discovered that the compression of the nerves was the solution to the problem.
Kristin. So, Dr. Clavijo, he's very friendly. Anytime you have a question, he gives you a cell phone number. He called me after my surgery just to check on me to make sure I was okay. A week later, he even called me, after I got my Botox he called me. If I have a question I can call him. He's very attentive. Any questions you have, he answers them with more explanation, so you're very understanding of the procedure that's going to happen. He's just very kind-hearted.
Dr. Alvarez: My mother suffered from migraine headaches and it inspired me to find new ways to treat this devastating condition.
Kristin: Dr. Clavijo had me keep a log for one month and I had 18 migraines in one month. I had no idea I was having that much or lying in my bed that much. It's a really nice relief to have my life back and not get them nearly as much as I did before.