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, March 1, 2012

Permanent pain following sympathectomy

The mean inpatient pain scores were significantly higher in the biportal group (1.2±0.6) than that in the uniportal group (0.8±0.5, P=0.025). For the first three weeks after operation, four out of 20 (20%) patients in the uniportal group constantly suffered from mild or moderate residual pain while eight out of 25 (32%) cases in the biportal group (P=0.366). Among them, two cases in the uniportal group and five cases in the biportal group need to take analgesics.
Chinese Medical Journal, 2009, Vol. 122 No. 13 : 1525-1528