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

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Retrograde Changes in the Nervous System Following Unilateral Sympathectomy

In consequence of right-sided smpathectomy at the level of C5 it was found that in the sheep the cervical sympathetic trunk contains nerve fibres which proceed from cells situated in the first four segments of the thoracic part of the spinal cord and in the stellate ganglion. These fibres are about 85 per cent of all fibres of the sympathetic trunk. The remaining 15 per cent proceed from nerve cells situated nasally of the anterior cervical ganglion.

Telaranta's patient commits suicide after elective surgery for sweaty hands

One of Dr. Telaranta’s patients who had made a complaint began to experience strong reactions of anxiety which did not go away even after corrective surgery. Later the patient committed suicide. 

Surgery involving the clamping of sympathetic nerve trunks to prevent excessive perspiration and blushing appears to be of questionable value.
      Complications have been reported, ranging from phantom perspiration to blood clots in the brain.
      The Finnish Office for Health Care Technology Assessment (FinOHTA), which is part of the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES) recently conducted a survey on the various effects of hyperhidrosis surgery at the request of the Finnish Medical Association.
      Finnish surgeon Timo Telaranta has performed about 2,000 such operations at private clinics in Helsinki and Oulu in the past ten years.
The National Authority for Medicolegal Affairs has issued three warnings to Telaranta and the Provincial Government of Southern Finland has issued one. 

Many doctors have serious reservations about the idea of treating complaints such as excessive perspiration, blushing, and performance anxiety by severing people’s nerves.