Both neurologists and surgeons have given steadily increasing consideration to the pain which accompanies vascular disease. Among the varieties is atypical facial neuralgia, in which the pain is felt in the areas supplied by the external carotid artery. Section of the sensory root of the trigeminal nerve has usually failed to relieve such pain. Other attempts to relieve it have included resection of the cervicothoracic sympathetic chain at various levels and periarterial stripping of the common carotid artery near its bifurcation. It is generally believed that the autonomic nervous system is involved in the production of atypical facial neuralgia, and on this basis attempts have been made to relieve it by severing (either preganglionically or postganglionically) the motor outflow reaching the affected sites.
After the operative treatment of atypical facial neuralgia, results are not predictable, and in some cases no relief at all is obtained. Furthermore, a Horner's syndrome results
GARDNER E. SURGICAL ANATOMY OF THE EXTERNAL CAROTID PLEXUS. Arch Surg. 1943;46(2):238-244. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1943.01220080074006