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

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sympathectomy results in a significant interference in regulatory processes of the body

"ESB  (whether as ETS as ETSC or ELS) generally represents a substantial interference in regulatory processes of the body.  Therefore decision for this operation requires that previously conservative treatments were made. An ESB is therefore at the end of a treatment history, and never at the beginning." 
Dr. Christoph H. Schick, ETS surgeon, President of the International Society of Sympathetic Surgery (ISSS)  
text has been  translated by google from German

Post-sympathectomy pain

Postsympathectomy limb pain, postsympathectomy parotid pain, and Raeder's paratrigeminal syndrome are pain states associated with the loss of sympathetic fibres and in particular with postganglionic sympathetic lesions. There is a characteristic interval of about 10 days between surgical sympathectomy and onset of pain. It is proposed that this pain in man is correlated with the delayed rise in sensory neuropeptides seen in rodents after sympathectomy. These chemical changes probably reflect the sprouting of sensory fibres and may result from the greater availability of nerve growth factor after sympathectomy. The balance between the sensory and sympathetic innervations of a peripheral organ may be determined by competition for a limited supply of nerve growth factor.
Lancet. 1985 Nov 23;2(8465):1158-60