Trigeminal Nerve

If there are too many impulses travelling to and from the trigeminal nerve, it causes hypersensitivity of the central nervous system (CNS). This can lead to sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia) and possibly nausea and vomiting. When the CNS becomes hypersensitive, the trigeminal nerves that come from the central nervous system are thought to release chemicals that cause inflammation and possibly swelling of the extra-cranial arteries.


Nerve decompression surgery addresses the role of the trigeminal nerve in migraine, and has been pioneered by American clinical professor of plastic surgery, Dr Bahman Guyuron.

Dr Guyuron’s research indicates that migraine headaches are triggered by an inflammation of the trigeminal nerve branches in the head and neck. The irritation of these branches results in release of substances that begin a cascade of events that lead to inflammation of the nerves and possibly swelling of the extra-cranial arteries. The result is the symptoms of a migraine headache. Dr Guyuron’s clinical findings show that the tissues, nerves and muscles surrounding the trigeminal nerve branches are responsible for the initial irritation. He surgically deactivates these trigger sites by removing or re-positioning small areas of the nerves, muscles and surrounding tissues.

To read more about the involvement of the trigeminal nerve in migraine and Dr Guyuron’s surgery and research, click on the articles below.

Surgical Treatment for Vascular Headaches

The Dura and Migraine

The Zygomaticotemporal Branch of the Trigeminal Nerve

Five-Year Outcome of Surgical Treatment of Migraine Headaches

A Placebo Controlled Surgical Trial of the Treatment of Migraine Headaches