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

Thursday, September 8, 2011


The present invention provides a method of affecting physiological disorders by stimulating a specific location along the sympathetic nerve chain. Preferably, the present invention provides a method of affecting a variety of physiological disorders or pathological conditions by placing an electrode adjacent to or in communication with at least one ganglion along the sympathetic nerve chain and stimulating the at least one ganglion until the physiological disorder or pathological condition has been affected.

[0009] A number of treatment regiments utilizing electrical stimulation can be employed for a vast array of physiological disorders or pathological conditions associated with the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Physiological disorders that may be treated include, but are not limited to, hyperhydrosis, complex regional pain syndrome and other pain syndromes such as headaches, cluster headaches, abnormal cardiac sympathetic output, cardiac contractility, excessive blushing condition, hypertension, renal disease, heart failure, angina, hypertension, and intestinal motility disorders, dry eye or mouth disorders, sexual dysfunction, asthma, liver disorders, pancreas disorders, and heart disorders, pulmonary disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and biliary disorders. The number of disorders to be treated is limited only by the number, variety, and placement of electrodes (or combinations of multiple electrodes) along the sympathetic nervous system.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

changes in the intracranial vascular bed due to the leakage and disappearance of the noradrenaline transmitter from the degenerating nerve terminals followed by denervation supersensitivity

The intracranial pressure, measured as the ventricular fluid pressure (VFP), was recorded continuously during about 2 days via a cannula inserted into the left lateral ventricle of the brain of conscious rabbits. The effect of bilateral removal of the superior cervical ganglia on the VFP was studied at various time-periods after operation, and the results were compared with those from unoperated control animals. The pressure changes attributed to the sympathectomy are referred to as the net VFP. The operation ultimately caused a disappearance of noradrenaline from intracranial sympathetic nerves. The net VFP was not affected during an 8-hr period of the recording starting 5–8 hrs after sympathectomy. During the following 35 hrs it was reduced by approximately 25 mm physiological saline followed by a return to initial or somewhat higher levels. Four days after sympathectomy the net VFP was significantly increased throughout the recording period. Two weeks after the operation the pressure had returned to the same, or even lower level compared with the non-sympathectomized control animals. The variations in the net VFP at different time-periods after sympathectomy are considered to reflect mainly changes in the intracranial vascular bed due to the leakage and disappearance of the noradrenaline transmitter from the degenerating nerve terminals followed by denervation supersensitivity. The results are discussed in terms of a sympathetic influence on the intracranial pressure mediated through the volume of the intracranial vascular bed, and/or the cerebrospinal fluid production in the choroid plexuses.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Doctors knock controversial sweating treatment; Surgical procedure leaves many people dripping wet on other parts of the body."

(March 2005) The Canadian news magazine "Macleans" reaches nearly 3 million readers every week. In early March, this publication ran a story about the risks of severe compensatory sweating after endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) surgery for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. The story's headline read, "Doctor's knock controversial sweating treatment; Surgical procedure leaves many people dripping wet on other parts of the body." (Editor's note: As of July 2007, this article was no longer available free online. You may, however, purchase the March 2005 edition of Macleans by visiting
this link.)
According to the article, the most common problem following ETS is increased and profuse sweating on other parts of the body, most often the back, legs, groin, and abdomen. This compensatory sweating, reports Macleans, can be mild to severe and occurs in 80 to 90 percent of patients. In one study of people who had surgery for excessive underarm sweating, 90 percent of the patients reported compensatory sweating and half of them were forced to change their clothes during the day because of it.

In related news, major news outlets (including "The New York Times") have reported this week on a massive insurance scam in the US in which thousands of patients from 40 states had been transported to California to undergo unnecessary surgical and diagnostic procedures. Insurers and employers have lost US $350 million in claims paid to date due to the illegal operations.

As part of the scheme, patients traveled to outpatient surgery clinics in California to receive three or more procedures in a single week. Among the procedures unnecessarily performed on these patients, according to The New York Times, was "...a highly unusual procedure to treat 'sweaty palms.'" The paper quoted an expert who said this particular surgery "posed potential risks to the patient because it involved collapsing the patient's lungs and deactiviating a nerve near the spine."

In return for undergoing unnecessary colonoscopies, endoscopies, and surgeries for "sweaty palms", participating patients were paid anywhere from $200 to $2,000 each and may have received discounts on cosmetic surgery.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Endoscopic sympathetic block--new treatment of choice for social phobia?

Central neural integration for the control of autonomic responses associated with emotion

ganglion block for unbalanced sympathetic nervous system disorders

Stellate ganglion blocks (SGB) are widely used for pain relief in outpatient clinics due to its many therapeutic indications and easy maneuvering. It is used locally over stellate ganglion territory disorders in the craniocervical (head and neck) or upper limbs and systemically for angina pectoris, psychosomatic disorders, hormonal disorders, or unbalanced sympathetic nervous system disorders [1].