Effect of clipping on pre-existing headache/migraine

My aneurysm was discovered during investigations for my chronic daily headaches and migraines. Unfortunately it was an incidental finding unrelated to my condition. I have met twice with a neurosurgeon to discuss my clipping surgery scheduled for next month and have expressed my concern over the effect it will have on my headache. Interestingly, he states that from his experience operating on patients in my situation, craniotomies usually have a positive either temporary or permanent effect on chronic daily headache/migraine. He said it has something to do with entering the brain and cutting the nerves that "breaks" the pain cycle.

In August I had botox injections for chronic migraine with a positive result. My daily pain levels were reduced and my migraines less frequent and severe. I am due for my next round mid November (6 weeks post op) and so asked my neurosurgeon if it would be alright to go ahead. He said that I would be very numb around the right side of my face and temple due to the surgery and the cutting of the nerves (similar to the effect of botox) and therefore would probably not need botox. I am a bit sceptical as my pain is bilateral and on the top and back of my head and am not sure how surgery on the right will effect my whole head. I will have to wait and see.

Has anyone else had pre-existing headaches/migraine and had clipping? How was your head pain post surgery and the following months/years?


My wife experience was exactly the opposite. We now know why and can prove it over and over again, not that one wants to do so. I suspect that your migraines had more to do with muscle tension because Botox is not injected below the cranium. Nevertheless, clipping surgery is done because of a blood vessel defect so please don't let headaches interfere with this decision. God willing maybe you will be free and clear of migraines. My wife wishes she was.

head pain varies from person to person but i told my family it felt like i got hit with a truck, you can sense the swelling and such. I did have headaches even as a little girl but as i was thinking today nobody ever checked my head !! Just stay positive you’ll be fine.

ed thanks for that info, i wondered why i was clipped and not coiled.

I haven’t found the criteria that eliminates one vs the other. I assume much of it has to do with the location and accessibility of the aneruysm.

i had no clue of any of this until my ruputre and i was told i had a weaken vessel from birth so i guess thats why i was clipped, like you said the vessel.


I too HAD migraines… But… Had gotten them down to barely nothing for the last 7 years… I stopped eating nitrates, anything with food coloring, and limit diary… My Docs didn’t think it would work, but it did… Off all meds, I tested it out and when I’ve eaten badly, yep I get a headache… So needless to say I was very concerned about getting clipped and having my migraines return… Doc said maybe for a little while I might have a few… sure enough I’ve had a couple…And I’m 10 weeks since surgery… Hopefully they will go away again… But I’m also starting or in the middle of Menopause… Yee Haw…

But please don’t let it stop you… The aneurysm is a way worse thing to deal with…

Your in my prayers…

Feel blessed...I was coiled and would never encourage / recommend it... from my personal experience and opinion.


My daughter had chronic migraines which started in early high school. She missed half of her days in school, but was able to graduate on time. We visited numerous neurologists who tried all the different medications, without much luck and no diagnosis for the migraines. I finally heard of a neuroendocrinologist out of Boston, and, after further testing, he discovered her brain waves were messed up (she clinically could be called epileptic, but he calls it migraine syndrome for medical purposes).

She has never had a seizure - and the brain waves had messed up her whole endocrine system. She has been on Lamicatal for several years and rarely has a headache. It still makes me mad thinking about all those years she lost because the 4 neurologists she visited never thought to do brain wave tests and endocrine tests.

Good luck with your migraines - they are tough to live with (I had them for the four years I was on Tamoxifen).

From what I’ve read and my dr has told me, not only is location criteria for clipping versus coiling, but the exact configuration is important. If the annie has a wide mouth, for instance, coiling often will not work because it will not be able to keep the coil within the annie.

Are you saying you would rather have been clipped? Just curious, I won’t know until Tuesday what my doc recommends.

Hi Wendy,

I have had migraines since the age of 5. When my aneurysm was discovered in Nov. of 2010, following my father's death from a massive brain bleed, I was in the midst of a 40 day migraine which would not respond to any treatment. When I saw the Neurosurgeon I asked whether the clipping would help get rid of my migraines, and he said that unfortunately one has nothing to do with the other, so I would probably still have migraines. My surgery was done in February of 2011, at which time I was in the throes of a 70 day migraine. I was crossing my fingers that a miracle would happen and my migraines would end, unfortunately, I awoke from surgery with my migraine still going strong, in addition to the postoperative pain. Nothing had been working for the migraine, and I still had it for 2 more weeks and then it just went away on its own! I still get migraines, but they aren't lasting a month or more any longer, which is a good thing (they had been getting longer and longer for a couple of years. Now I'm just back to normal migraines that last a week at the most, but usually just a day or two, so there was some improvement. Sorry I can't give you a more hopeful answer, but this was my experience. Good luck with your clipping, and I hope you have at least a lessening of your migraines, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that you get rid of them completely. Take care, Lana

Hi Lana, thanks for letting me know your personal experience after clipping. I actually had my clipping surgery postponed on the day due to a terrible migrane and spent the week in hospital being treated for "status migrainosis".

I still have not had my surgery, and am not sure when I will go ahead. The end of last year was a disaster as I was in and out of hospital for 3 months due to severe pain. I am currently tapering off all my medications to get a baseline for my headache. I must admit, since dropping topamax I feel much better and my pain is slowly improving. The only trigger that is still an issue is my menstrual cycle, so I am working with a gynaecologist to address that.

I hope your head continues to improve and those hideous not stop migraines are a thing of the past.

Best wishes