The amount of compensatory sweating depends on the patient, the damage that the white rami communicans incurs, and the amount of cell body reorganization in the spinal cord after surgery.
Other potential complications include inadequate resection of the ganglia, gustatory sweating, pneumothorax, cardiac dysfunction, post-operative pain, and finally Horner’s syndrome secondary to resection of the stellate ganglion.

After severing the cervical sympathetic trunk, the cells of the cervical sympathetic ganglion undergo transneuronic degeneration
After severing the sympathetic trunk, the cells of its origin undergo complete disintegration within a year.

Spinal cord infarction occurring during thoraco-lumbar sympathectomy
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1963;26:418-421 doi:10.1136/jnnp.26.5.418

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fake websites in the service of the ETS industry - who protects the patients?

Fake websites that pretend to be independent,  informative, with the sole raison d'etre to praise the surgeon's skill, expertise and experience, - and to hook the patient into reading more on the surgeons' website, with many obvious links to the surgeon on every page.
Why are predatory practices of medical professionals tolerated?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


1. Sympathectomy is analogous to the act of killing the messenger. The sympathetic nervous system has the critical job of properly controlling and preserving the circulation in different parts of the body, especially in the extremities. By paralyzing the system, the extremity will be more apt to have disturbance of circulation and is left unprotected from fluctuation in circulation.
Sympathectomy is similar to permanently removing the central heat and air-conditioning system and never replacing it because of malfunction.
Sympathectomy permanently damages the temperature regulatory system. The reason sympathectomy does not cause side effects other than ineffective control of pain as well as impotence and orthostatic hypotension is because it is invariably partial and incomplete.
2. Even after "complete" removal of the sympathetic plexus for the upper or lower extremities, the sympathetic nerves in the wall of the blood vessels are left intact.
3. As shown in Table 6, the most common form (over 80%) of RSD is disuse RSD. In this situation, the sympathetic system is temporarily hyperactive. Proper conservative treatment would prevent any unnecessary invasive surgery (such as sympathectomy) in such patients.
4. Usually the patients that end up needing sympathectomy are the ones who suffer from ephaptic dystrophy. Sympathectomy in such cases cause a classic Cannon phenomenon. This physiological phenomenon refers to the fact that the end organ that is controlled by sympathetic nerve fibers  will become uninhibited in its chemical dysfunction. As a result, even though the sympathetic fibers are not contributing to acetylcholine or become uninhibited with resultant increase of pain input.
In diabetic neuropathy RSD, sympathectomy dramatically relieves the pain for the first 1 to 3 years. Then deafferentation can Cannon phenomenon set in. As a result, invariably by the second to fifth year the patient ends up with a lot more pain. Sympathetic blocks repeated every 6 to 12 months yield similar results.
In patients who have had sympathectomy, thermography shows an increase of temperature  in the focus of ephaptic nerve damage (Cannon phenomenon) with secondary increase of pain and discomfort.
H. Hooshmand, M.D., Neurological Associates

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In 70 % compensatory sweating severe, recurrence rates were 15% and 19% at 1 and 2 years after surgery

In T2 and T3 resection, all patients experienced Compensatory Sweating and over 70% of the patients felt it was severe. Even in T2 resection, 90% of patients experienced CS and in 50% of these it was severe. High rates of CS are reported in Asian countries with hot and humid climates.

In T2 resection, recurrence rates were 15% and 19% at 1 and 2 years after surgery.It was not rare for a patient to experience recurrence more than 3 years after surgery.
Motoki Yano, MD, PhD and Yoshitaka Fujii, MD, PhD
Journal Home
Volume 138, Issue 1, Pages 40-45 (July 2005)


The responses of intact rats to cold-exposure (4°C) include vasoconstriction, piloerection, shivering, adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) hypersecretion and increased mobilization of free fatty acids and glucose. Adrenal demedullation prevents the increased mobilization of glucose and decreases survival time. Chemical sympathectomy blocks all of the responses except ACTH hypersecretion. Such animals lose body heat rapidly and die in a few hours. Total adrenalectomy has a similar effect. The damaging actions of chemical sympathectomy are reversed by administration of catecholamines while those of total adrenalectomy are reversed by cortisone. Thus, the sympathetic nervous system appears to be essential for existence at low environmental temperature.

Palmar Hyperhidrosis worse after Sympathectomy

We describe a patient who underwent upper thoracic sympathectomy for palmar hyperhidrosis, and whose symptoms subsequently deteriorated, becoming worse than those on initial presentation.

Clinical and Experimental Dermatology

Volume 20 Issue 3, Pages 230 - 233

Published Online: 27 Apr 2006

Accepted for publication 6 January 1995

baroreflex response as a compensatory function for hemodynamic changes is suppressed in patients who receive ETS - and it can be detrimental

In this study, baroreflex control of HR was completely inhibited in 9 of 21 patients in the depressor test but in only 1 of 19 patients in the pressor test. All patients who showed complete inhibition had received bilateral T2-3 sympathectomy. Responses to decreased blood pressure are mediated by the sympathetic nervous system, whereas responses to increased blood pressure predominantly involve vagal compensation (13). Therefore, it seems that the effects of sympathetic denervation were most prominent in the depressor test after ETS.

The suppression of baroreflex function can be detrimental during anesthetic management. In particular, a poorly preserved baroreflex response to decreasing blood pressure may exaggerate hemodynamic perturbation after a sudden loss of circulating blood volume. In addition, it is possible that patients who have received ETS will show unexpected HR responses after the administration of a vasopressor or vasodilator. We conclude that baroreflex response as a compensatory function for hemodynamic changes is suppressed in patients who receive ETS.
Anesth Analg 2004;98:37-39

Sexual dysfunction after sympathectomy

LS, like any other surgical procedure, is not without its share of complications which include failure of adequate denervation, brief paralytic ileus, hyperhydrosis in parts of the body which remain normally innervated, sexual dysfunction, and post-sympathectomy neuralgia.

The results of endoscopic sympathectomy deteriorate progressively from the immediate outcome

British Journal of Surgery ISSN 0007-1323

1999, vol. 86, no1, pp. 45-47 (12 ref.)