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, December 16, 2013

Long-term sympathectomy induces sensory and parasympathetic fibres sprouting, and mast cell activation in the rat dura mater

Bergerot, AAubineau, P; (1998) Long-term sympathectomy induces sensory and parasympathetic fibres sprouting, and mast cell activation in the rat dura mater. EUR J NEUROSCI , 10 79 - 79.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lewis rats are much more likely to develop autoimmune disorders after sympathectomy

Lewis rats are much more likely to develop autoimmune disorders after sympathectomy 
(Dimitrova and Felten, 1995). This finding suggests that if sympathetic regulation were impaired in a 
genetically predisposed individual, an autoimmune disease might develop.  
Betrayal by the Brain: The Neurologic Basis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Related Neural Network Disorders  
by Jay A. Goldstein  

published by The Haworth Medical Press, 1996

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

significant change after sympathectomy: reduced sympathetic and increased vagal tone

The HRV analysis showed a significant change of indices reflecting sympatho-vagal balance indicating significantly reduced sympathetic (LF) and increased vagal (HF, rMSSD) tone. These changes still persisted after 2 years. Global HRV increased over time with significant elevation of SDANN after 2 years. QT dispersion was significantly reduced 1 month after surgery and the dispersion was further diminished 2 years later.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

"sympathectomy is a form of sensory neurectomy" (p. 1500)

Bonica's Management of Pain

Front Cover
Scott FishmanJane BallantyneJames P. Rathmell
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010 - Medical - 1661 pages

Sunday, November 24, 2013

sympathectomized arteries become more susceptible to lipid accumulation

Combined effect of cholesterol feeding and sympathectomy on the lipid content in rabbit aortas
Volume 37, Issue 4, December 1980, Pages 521–528

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Removal of the clips from the sympathetic trunk does not provide resolution of compensatory sweating

Removal of the clips from the sympathetic trunk does not provide resolution of compensatory sweating in 1 year of observation. T6-9 block does not provide remedy for compensatory hyperhidrosis. Regional abdomino-lumbar iontophoresis seems to be very promising, but further research and followup are mandatory.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Is sympathectomy safe and effective?

Well, it depends on who you ask.
We already know what the surgeons who offer the surgery have to say about it, as most of us was conned into having the surgery. We also know what these surgeons have to say about non-surgical options (ineffective, tedious, time-consuming, expensive, not permanent, resulting in disabling side-effects, very painful, useless - on one website patients are told that application of BOTOX requires general anaesthesia, just to scare them off that one... : ). The question is answered very differently when you ask a medical professional who offers these non-surgical treatment options. Their advice and their version of FACTS always depends on the treatment and technique they have on offer. 
A very simple exercise: print out the texts from few of these websites and offer it to someone to read. Then let them guess what they think which treatment the medical professional is siding with, that is: which treatment is being offered and advertised by them. 

Here is a sample. You will most certainly detect that this medical professional is NOT offering ETS, as he selected different FACTS about the procedure and it's results.

and because you can never be safe enough, here is the archived version:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Natural bodily functioning does not include “purely autonomic” or “purely somatic” responses, just as it does not include ‘purely sympathetic” or “purely parasympathetic” responses

Langley initially expected to find afferent cell bodies in autonomic ganglia, with projections to other ganglia. He believed that activation of these “autonomic afferents” should lead to purely autonomic responses. However Langley’s own careful work demonstrated that there were no such neurons.

The fundamentally important point is that integrative processes responsible for the organization of visceral function occur principally within the central nervous system (brain and/or spinal cord). Both somatic and visceral afferents result in complex, brain mediated, responses that include somatic and visceral function. Autonomic motor activity can be generated by both somatic and visceral inputs to the CNS, and visceral inputs to the CNS initiate responses that are both somatic and autonomic. Natural bodily functioning does not include “purely autonomic” or “purely somatic” responses, just as it does not include ‘purely sympathetic” or “purely parasympathetic” responses.

Bill Blessing and Ian Gibbins (2008), Scholarpedia, 3(7):2787.
revision #46085 [link to/cite this article]

Curator: Dr. Bill Blessing, Centre for Neuroscience, Flinders University, Adelaide, AUSTRALIA

there are three main conditions which could impair the autonomy of a patient's medical decision: insufficient information, irrational beliefs/desires, and influence of different framing effects

Thursday, October 31, 2013

electric stimulation of the sympathetic cord in the upper thoracic level on the middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity

The effect of electric stimulation of the sympathetic cord in the upper thoracic level on the middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity (V(MCA)) in humans was examined using transcranial Doppler sonography monitoring during surgery for palmar hyperhidrosis. Sympathetic stimulation resulted in marked and rapid increases Of V(MCA). The responses were preceded by prompt increases of mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) and heart rate (HR). Division of the sympathetic cord cranially or caudally to the stimulation site partially reduced the V(MCA), MABP and HR responses. Both these operations reduced sympathetic pathways to the heart as reflected by a decrease in HR and MABP. The integrity of the sympathetic pathway from the stimulation site through the superior cervical ganglion and the carotid plexus was not a prerequisite for a V(MCA) response. Our data suggest that the V(MCA) increase mainly results from stimulation of the heart and the cardiovascular system, resulting in marked increases of blood pressure and heart rate.

CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES Volume: 2 Issue: 6 Pages: 359-364 Published: NOV-DEC 1992

Friday, October 18, 2013

Postsympathectomy pain of such severity that parenteral narcotics afforded no relief

Fifty-six consecutive patients who subsequently underwent ninety-six lumbar sympathectomies were studied prospectively with regard to the development of postoperative pain. Pain after operation was observed in thirty-four extremities by twenty-five of the patients (35 per cent). It began abruptly an average of twelve days after operation and was often accentuated nocturnally. The pain was almost always described as a deep, dull ache and persisted two to three weeks before spontaneously remitting. Postsympathectomy pain of such severity that parenteral narcotics afforded no relief developed in two of these fifty-six patients and in nine additional patients. Treatment with carbamazepine produced dramatic reduction in the intensity of pain in seven of these nine patients within twenty-four hours after the institution of therapy. Two patients were given intravenous diphenylhydantoin and both experienced immediate relief of pain. The mechanisms of the syndrome and of the action of these drugs are uncertain.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A randomized placebo-controlled trial of oxybutynin for the initial treatment of palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis

Palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis improved in >70% of the patients, and 47.8% of those presented great improvement. Plantar hyperhidrosis improved in >90% of the patients. Most patients (65.2%) showed improvements in their quality of life. The side effects were minor, with dry mouth being the most frequent (47.8%).

Journal of Vascular SurgeryVolume 55, Issue 6June 2012Pages 1696-1700

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

40% affirmed they would ask for the operation if it were to be redone, 53% recurrence

At an average 12 years after surgery, 47% of patients were satisfied with the treatment results, 40% were disappointed. 
53% complaining about a decent to moderate recurrence of hand sweating and compensatory and gustatory sweating were observed in 9 (60%) and 5 (33%) patients, respectively. 
Interact CardioVasc Thorac Surg(1): 54-57.

Only 56% would recommend thoracoscopic sympathectomy to others with hyperhydrosis

Thursday, October 3, 2013

post-sympathectomy hyperalgesia

Behavioral test of tolerance for aversive mechanical stimuli in sympathectomized cats.

W J Roberts
D L Rhodes
Cats were studied behaviorally to determine their suitability as an animal model for the post-sympathectomy hyperalgesia reported to occur in humans. For this study a device and methodology were developed which allow humane testing of tolerance for intense mechanical stimulation of the hindlegs. Behavioral tolerance was measured quantitatively before and after unilateral sympathectomy. The results from this preliminary study of 6 cats are remarkably similar to those reported for humans; 1 of the 6 cats showed a decreased tolerance on the sympathectomized side which was delayed in onset and of limited duration. The new methodology appears to provide relatively stable, quantitative measures of tolerance for aversive stimulation, and the cat shows promise as an animal model for post-sympathectomy hyperalgesia.
Pain. 1983; 15(2)

Monday, September 23, 2013

significant number of primary hyperhidrosis patients (more than 70%) were so pleased with the results that they decided to forgo the surgery

At the beginning of our study, thoracic sympathectomy was indicated indiscriminately to all primary hyperhidrosis patients. The authors observed a number of patients who were dissatisfied with the results obtained from this technique, particularly due to the undesirable but frequent side effect of compensatory hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that deeply affects the individual's emotional component, and many of them, despite being warned previously, are not psychologically prepared to address this new situation. The authors then included a psychologist in the study and directed the patients for routine psychological evaluations to prepare and better select them for surgery. In addition, the authors began to study a pharmacological formula to medicate these patients for the same purpose. Oxybutynin is an anticholinergic drug that has been used safely at high doses (up to 15 mg/day) to treat micturition disorders, and a side effect observed in these patients has been diminished sudoresis. Studies conducted by our group have documented the clinical benefits of a low dose of oxybutynin (10 mg/day). The authors found that a significant number of primary hyperhidrosis patients (more than 70%) were so pleased with the results that they decided to forgo the surgery [50-53].
Expert Review of Dermatology7.6 (Dec 2012): 529-538.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Neuralgia due to sympathectomy

Depending on the skill of the surgeon and difficulty encountered performing various intraoperative maneuvers, the incidence of complications following sympathectomy should be the same as that following any other extraperitoneal or extrapleural operation. However, a frequent complication following sympathectomy, and one which is apparently unrelated to operative technique, is that of postsympathectomy neuralgia.
This neuralgia is characterized by aching thigh pain after lumbar sympathectomy or aching shoulder and arm pain after cervical sympathectomy. The pain is intense in severity, sudden in onset and disappearance, and not related to any major neurologic manifestations.
Recently we have reviewed the files of the Vascular Surgical Service at the West Roxbury Veteran's Hospital and the literature on this condition. This report is a presentation of our findings.
Incidence  Pain following sympathectomy has been described as "an all too common complaint."8 Reports have varied in incidence from 2.1% to "practically every case."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Autonomic neuropathy in the skin following sympathectomy

In diabetics with the anhidrotic syndrome, autonomic nerve fibres were studied in skin biopsies using argentic techniques and light microscopy. The Minor test was used to differentiate normal from anhidrotic skin areas. In the anhidrotic areas, histology of the nerve fibres showed beading, spindle-shaped thickening and fragmentation adjacent to the sweat glands. These changes were similar to those observed in two patients who had previously undergone lumbar sympathectomy. No abnormalities of the sympathetic nerve endings could be found in biopsies taken from normal areas of the forearm of the same patients. We conclude that the diabetic anhidrotic syndrome, a form of diabetic autonomic neuropathy, is due to a lesion of the sympathetic nerve supply to the skin.
I. Faerman1, E. Faccio3, I. Calb2, J. Razumny1, N. Franco2, A. Dominguez2 and H. A. Podestá1

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

ciliospinal reflex

The ciliospinal reflex (pupillary-skin reflex) consists of dilation of the ipsilateral pupil in response to pain applied to the neck, face, and upper trunk. If the right side of the neck is subjected to a painful stimulus, the right pupil dilates (increases in size 1-2mm from baseline). This reflex is absent in Horner's syndrome and lesions involving the cervical sympathetic fibers. The enhanced ciliospinal reflex in asymptomatic patients with cluster headache is due to preganglionic sympathetic mechanisms.

The cilio-spinal center is not sharply confined to TI spinal level, but may extend downwards as low as T5

financial interests may unduly influence professionals’ judgments

widespread relationships with industry have created significant risks that… financial interests may unduly influence professionals’ judgments.

“conflicts of interest” threaten the integrity of research, the objectivity of education, the quality of patient care, and public trust in medicine.

Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice

April 21, 2009
Consensus Report
Biomedical and Health ResearchEducation
Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice
Board on Health Sciences Policy

Friday, August 9, 2013

Endoscopic sympathectomy is not minimally invasive - doing the same operation through a smaller incision is not necessarily less invasive

The term ‘‘minimally invasive surgery’’ was initially applied to coelioscopic procedures such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy and hernia repair, thoracoscopic sympathectomy, and arthroscopy, but has since been abandoned, because doing the same operation through a smaller incision is not necessarily less invasive. The term ‘‘minimally invasive parathyroidectomy’’ does not fully convey the nature of the techniques, and, as previously debated in the wider field of minimal-access surgery, carries connotations of increased safety that are not necessarily supported by the existing data [12].
Surg Clin N Am 84 (2004) 717–734
F. Fausto Palazzo, MS, FRCS(Gen),
Leigh W. Delbridge, MD, FACS*

Department of Surgery, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney 2065, NSW, Australia

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy remains a fairly controversial procedure

Studies by ETS surgeons have claimed an initial satisfaction rate around 85-95% with at least 2%-19% regretting the surgery and up to 51% of the patients complaining about decreased quality of life. However, at least one study shows a satisfaction rate as low as 28.6.
Most patients report various adverse reactions as a result of the surgery. And, whilst the results of endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy might appear moderately successful in treating hyperhidrosis, there is a high risk of complications.
Along with the normal side effects of surgery, such as pain, bleeding and bruising, the most frequent post surgical complication is ‘compensatory hyperhidrosis’ – where excessive sweating in seen another part of the body as a result, most commonly the lower back or upper thighs.
There is also the potential surgical complication of a pneumothorax, where air becomes trapped between the lung and the internal chest wall, making breathing difficult and painful. Whilst this can be a life-threatening condition, if not too large it generally resolves over time with out further surgical intervention.
Other fairly common complications of endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy include:
         Rhinitis - inflammation of the nose and
         Gustatory sweating - sweating on the face and neck after eating food,
Rarer complications of endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy as a result of nerve damage include:
         Damage to the phrentic nerve. – Phrentic nerve damage can lead to long term shortness of breath, repair of the nerve during the surgery is also possible in some cases..
         Horner’s syndrome, - a condition that causes drooping of the eyelids.
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy remains a fairly controversial procedure; with advocates claiming high success rates and minimal complications when performed correctly, whilst opponents report huge variation in post operation satisfaction levels and poor consistency in the surgical procedure as a result of anatomical variations in the sympathetic nerve network between patients and personal preferences between doctors.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

This is how "Australia’s leading source for trustworthy medical information" describes sympathectomy

"Sympathectomy is a procedure that is used to treat neuropathic pain. It interrupts the sympathetic nervous system either temporarily or permanently."

Virtual Medical Centre
Australia’s leading source for trustworthy medical information written by health professionals.
Please be aware that we do not give advice on your individual medical condition,
if you want advice please see your treating physician.
Virtual Medical Centre © 2002 - 2013 | Privacy Policy Last updated 8 Aug 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

progressive hemifacial atrophy following sympathectomy for hyperhidrosis

Some authors consider the disease a variant of mor- phea because the histologic changes are identical to deep scleroderma.The possible etiologies include sympathetic denervation, trauma, vascular malformations, immunologic abnormality, heredi- tary disease, or infection by a slow virus.To our knowledge, this is the first report of a young patient with a possible association between Parry-Romberg syndrome and thoracoscopic sympathectomy.

Theoretically, thoracoscopic sympathectomy may cause 2 of the aforementioned etiologies of Parry- Romberg syndrome: sympathetic denervation and trauma. Thoracoscopic sympathectomy is a surgical technique for the treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis.

The operation ablates the upper thoracic sympa- thetic nerve ganglions responsible for nerve stimu- lation of the sweat glands of the upper limbs. The most significant complication is Horner’s syn- drome, which results from injury to the stellate sympathetic ganglion.In a summary of sympa- thectomies in 67 children and adolescents, compli- cations included Horner’s syndrome in 1 patient (1%) and varying degrees of compensatory sweat- ing in 30 patients (45%).Despite the evidence from animal studies that sympathectomy can result in facial atrophy, to our knowledge, there were no previous reports of such an association in humans.
Cutis. 2004;73:343-344, 346.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Crime Inc.: Sweaty Palm Surgery

RSD due to nerve injury

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), RSD is "a chronic pain condition that is believed to be the result of dysfunction in the central or peripheral nervous systems." According to MedicineNet, RSD involves "irritation and abnormal excitation of nervous tissue, leading to abnormal impulses along nerves that affect blood vessels and skin."
Animal studies indicate that norepinephrine, a catecholamine released from sympathetic nerves, acquires the capacity to activate pain pathways after tissue or nerve injury, resulting in RSD. Another theory suggests that RSD, which follows an injury, is caused by triggering an immune response and symptoms associated with inflammation (redness, warmth, swelling). RSD is not thought to have a single cause, but rather multiple causes producing similar symptoms.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

PLOS Medicine: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

PLOS Medicine: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False: "There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research."

After sympathectomy in rats there is an increase in osteoclast-mediated bone resorption as well as an increase in the number of osteoclasts on the sympathectomized side

Paper: Osteoclastic Activation In Periapical Lesions After NPY Knockout (IADR/AADR/CADR 87th General Session and Exhibition (April 1-4, 2009)): "After sympathectomy in rats there is an increase in osteoclast-mediated bone resorption as well as an increase in the number of osteoclasts on the sympathectomized side compared to the control. These findings suggest an inhibitory effect of the SNS on bone resorption via osteoclasts. Our objective was to determine if an SNS mediator, neuropeptide Y (NPY), affects osteoclastic activity after pulpal exposure."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Two-stage unilateral versus one-stage bilateral single-port sympathectomy for palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis

Compensatory sweating occurred in 25 (19%) patients of the one-stage group and in 6 (4%) of the two-stage group (P = 0.0001). No patients developed Horner’s syndrome.
CONCLUSIONS: Both two-stage unilateral and one-stage bilateral single-port video-assisted thoracoscopic sympathectomies are effective, safe and minimally invasive procedures. Two-stage unilateral sympathectomy can be performed with a lower occurrence of compensatory sweating, improving permanently the quality of life in patients with palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis. 

sympathectomy led to significant decrements in escape and avoidance responding

PsycNET - Option to Buy: "Chemical sympathectomy and avoidance learning in the rat.
By Di Giusto, E. L.; King, M. G.
Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, Vol 81(3), Dec 1972, 491-500.
Reports results of 5 experiments with male Wistar rats (N = 108). Depletion of peripheral sympathetic noradrenaline induced by administration of 6-hydroxydopamine, ip, led to significant decrements in escape and avoidance responding when the required response was difficult, but not when it was relatively easy to acquire. Results are similar to previous findings obtained with adrenal-demedullated Ss. Findings clarify the role of the sympathetic nervous system in the motivation of behavior elicited by aversive stimulation. Implications for 2-process theory and the "Kamin effect," or "learned helplessness," are discussed. (40 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)"

Northern Sydney Vascular's Website: to ablate the sympathetic outflow to the hand and/or axillae (armpits) thereby alleviating further sweating in these areas

Northern Vascular's Website: "This is a minimally invasive procedure that aims to ablate the sympathetic outflow to the hand and/or axillae (armpits) thereby alleviating further sweating in these areas. There are many variations for this surgery and many “myths” about the treatment. Please do not hesitate to speak to us if you have already searched the internet and become confused about the options for treatment."

'via Blog this'

Blushing and Facial Blushing Causes, Treatment, Diagnosis

Blushing and Facial Blushing Causes, Treatment, Diagnosis: "The treatment of facial blushing and or facial sweating is a controversial subject. The uncontrolled and embarrassing situation of facial sweating and blushing was thought to be easily treated with ETS. This came about when ETS was done patients with sweaty hands. Among those patients who also suffered from facial blushing and/or facial sweating the results were also successful at reducing facial blushing and/or sweating. However over the years two observations were made when this operation was applied only patients with facial blushing and or facial sweating. Percentage wise these patients developed a higher rate of severe compensatory sweating. Also these patients experienced a higher degree of dissatisfaction due to the side effects. Side effects such as facial flushed feelings, loss of stamina, facial skin sensitivity, increased amount of fatigue and others led Dr. Reisfeld to the decision not to perm ETS when only facial blushing or facial sweating were involved. The clinical experience that was accumulated over the last several years is what has allowed Dr. Reisfeld to reach this assessment."

Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). DermNet NZ

Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). DermNet NZ: "Localised hyperhidrosis may also be due to:

Spinal damage
Peripheral damage
Surgical sympathectomy
Brain tumour
Chronic anxiety disorder"

Friday, July 19, 2013

Right sympathectomy was associated with a 372% increase in PI (p < 0.0001), and left sympathectomy with a 316% increase in PI

Oximetry-derived perfusion index for intraop... [Ann Thorac Surg. 2005] - PubMed - NCBI: "Baseline oximetric waveforms were adequate in all subjects. Right was associated with a 372% increase in PI (p < 0.0001), and left with a 316% increase in PI (p < 0.029). This occurred as early as 1 minute after transection of the sympathetic chain. The PI in the reference probes as well as the hemodynamics remained constant."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

ETS Complications - my story - YouTube

ETS Complications .... my story - YouTube:

Severity of compensatory sweating after thor... [Ann Thorac Surg. 2004] - PubMed - NCBI

Severity of compensatory sweating after thor... [Ann Thorac Surg. 2004] - PubMed - NCBI: "Compensatory sweating occurred in 89% of patients and was so severe in 35% that they often had to change their clothes during the day. The frequency of compensatory sweating was not significantly different among the three groups, but severity was significantly higher after Th2-4 sympathectomy for axillary hyperhidrosis (p = 0.04). Gustatory sweating occurred in 38% of patients, and 16% of patients regretted the operation.
Compensatory and gustatory sweating were remarkably frequent side effects after thoracoscopic sympathectomy for primary hyperhidrosis."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Impaired skin vasomotor reflexes have been found in patients with sympathetic dystrophies, dysautomias, post-regional sympathectomy and diabetic neuropathies

Not surprisingly, diminished vasoconstrictor responses, similar to the current findings, have been found
in patients with sympathetic dystrophies [26], dysautomias [27], post-regional sympathectomy [28] and
diabetic neuropathies [11].

Additionally, there have been a few reports of EM patients benefitting from sympathectomy or neurolitic
irreversible blocks of the lumbar sympathetic ganglia [22,23], while others have found the symptoms of EM to
be aggravated by such treatment [24,25], possibly as a result of denervation supersensitivity.
Clinical Science (1999) 96, 507ñ512 (Printed in Great Britain)
Roberta C. LITTLEFORD, Faisel KHAN and Jill J. F. BELCH
University Department of Medicine, Section of Vascular Medicine and Biology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School,
Dundee DD1 9SY, Scotland, U.K.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sympathectomy interrupts neural messages that ordinarily would travel to many different organs, glands and muscles

Sympathectomy involves dissection of the main sympathetic trunk in the upper thoracic region thus interrupting neural messages that ordinarily would travel to many different organs, glands and muscles. It involves division of adrenergic, cholinergic and sensory fibers which elaborate adrenergic substances during the process of regulating visceral function.
Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 6(6): 659-664, 2010

Vascular sympathetic denervation can lead to degeneration of the smooth muscle of arteries leading to medial arterial calcification and stiffening of the arteries

Sympathetic denervation of the peripheral arterial system may occur quite early in the evolution of neuropathy and has major effects on blood flow and vascular responses and causes structural changes in the arterial wall (Edmonds 2004). Vascular sympathetic denervation can lead to degeneration of the smooth muscle of arteries leading to medial arterial calcification and stiffening of the arteries. This calcification may assume the histological characteristics of bone.
   Unilateral lumbar sympathectomy in humans, both in diabetics and non-diabetics, has been show to result in medial wall calcification on the ipsilateral side (Goebel and Fuessl 1983). Unilateral sympathectomy in animals leads to excess deposition of cholesterol on the operated side and the occurrence of cholesterol sclerosis in the rabbit's aorta was accelerated by removal of the coeliac ganglion (Harrison 1938). Furthermore, in animal models, denervation of smooth muscle leads to striking pathological changes, including atrophy of muscle fibres with foci of degeneration (Kerper and Collier 1926). Arterial calcification in initiated within senescent atrophic smooth muscle (Morgan 1980).
   Medial arterial calcification in the Pima Indians is significantly associated with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular mortality (Everhart et al 1988). Medial calcification may be important factor in development of peripheral vascular disease, which in diabetes shows a predilection for the distal arteries below the knee and is unexplained. Chantelau reported an association of below knee atherosclerosis to medial arterial calcification (Chantelau et al. 1995).
p. 653

Autonomic Failure: A Textbook of Clinical Disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System[Hardcover]

Christopher J. Mathias Roger Bannister 
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 5 edition (July 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198566344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198566342

Sunday, July 7, 2013

"Patients report that they feel less anxious in stressful situations. Stage fright is reduced. The results are usually permanent."

Sympathectomy, (ETS, VATS, ESB and many other names for the same procedure) affects emotional responses, fear responses, arousal, etc. It changes a person's  ability to feel and respond to emotions. It changes drive, attention, mobilisation.
Patients sign up for a surgery to treat sweaty hands, and not 'adjustments' to their emotions and personality.

sympathectomy leads to fluctuation of vasoconstriction alternated with vasodilation in an unstable fashion

"To quote Nashold, referring to sympathectomy, "Ill- advised surgery may tend to magnify the entire symptom complex"(38). Sympathectomy is aimed at achieving vasodilation. The neurovascular instability (vacillation and instability of vasoconstrictive function), leads to fluctuation of vasoconstriction alternated with vasodilation in an unstable fashion (39). Following sympathectomy the involved extremity shows regional hyper - and hypothermia in contrast, the blood flow and skin temperature on the non- sympathectomized side are significantly lower after exposure to a cold environment (39). This phenomenon may explain the reason for spread of CRPS. In the first four weeks after sympathectomy, the Laser Doppler flow study shows an increased of blood flow and hyperthermia in the extremity (40). Then, after four weeks, the skin temperature and vascular perfusion slowly decrease and a high amplitude vasomotor constriction develops reversing any beneficial effect of surgery (39). According to Bonica , "about a dozen patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) in whom I have carried out preoperative diagnostic sympathetic block with complete pain relief, sympathectomy produced either partial or no relief (40)"

Chronic Pain

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy : Prevention and Management
Front Cover
CRC PressINC, 1993 - Medical - 202 pages

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

In  our  own  clinic  we  stopped  performing   sympathectomies  in  1994,  since  we  were alarmed  by  the  complication  and  failure  rate

Physical  medicine
Russell,  Alan  L.  Patient  Care 13.2  (Feb  2002):  19. 

Seven cases of enlargement  of  the  Breast - A  New  Side  Effect  of  Sympathectomy for hyperhydrosis

The  phenomenon  of  hyperhidrosis  is  a  pathological  state  caused  by  unknown  stimulus  of  the  sympathetic  nervous  system.  When  a  variety  of  conservative  treatments have  failed,  surgery  which  involves  the  removal  of  some  ganglia  of  the  cervical  sympathetic  chain,  is  the  treatment  of  choice.  In  the  last  four  years  we  operated  on 253  patients  for  palmar  hyperhidrosis  using  the  transaxillary  approach  only. Recently,  a  new  side  effect  of  surgery  has  come  to  our  attention.  This  phenomenon  is enlargement  of  the  breast  on  the  operated  side.  Our  series  show  seven  cases  (2.4%)  of  women  operated  for  palmar  hyperhidrosis  who  manifested  this phenomenon,  two  of  them  bilaterally.  The  enlargement  of  the  breast  was  found  usually  by  the  second  follow-­up  visit  after  operation  when,  in  most  cases,  the  patient mentioned  it.Examination  of  the  breast  revealed  enlargement  of  a  few  centimeters  which  in  several  patients  required  a  change  to  a  larger  brassiere  size.  In  both  of our  patients  who  underwent  bilateral  surgery,  the  breasts  enlarged  until  they  were  equal  in  size.  The  women  then  did  not  complain  further.  

Enlargement  of  the  Breast-­-­A  New  Side  Effect  of  Transaxillary  Cervical  Sympathectomy:  Case  Report Kott,  Itamar;;  Hauptman,  Eli;;  Zelkovsky,  Avigdor;;  Reiss,  Raphael.  Vascular  and  Endovascular  Surgery 20.1  (Jan  1986):  50-­54. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Parry-Romberg syndrome and thoracoscopic sympathectomy

 2004 May;73(5):343-4, 346.

Parry-Romberg syndrome and sympathectomy--a coincidence?


Department of Dermatology, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.


Parry-Romberg syndrome is a clinical entity consisting of progressive hemifacial atrophy appearing at a young age. Animal studies indicate that sympathectomy can produce hemifacial atrophy. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a patient with a possible association between Parry-Romberg syndrome and thoracoscopic sympathectomy.

ML Moss, GF Crikelair. Progressive facial hemiatrophy following cervical sympathectomy in the rat. Arch Oral Biol 1960;1:254-810.1016-03-9969(60)90052-214424619

Case of progressive facial hemiatrophy with cervical sympathetic hyperactivity as underlying aetiology

P Ségura, C Speeg-Schatz, JM Wagner, O Kern. Claude Bernard-Horner syndrome and its opposite, Pourfour du Petit syndrome, in anesthesia and intensive care [in French]. Ann Fr Anesth Reanim 1998;17:709-2410.1016/S0750-7658(98)80108-1975...9

sympathectomy a 'systemic' procedure and in some cases can have 'unpredictable side-effects'

'Systemic' surgery divides the sympathetic chain either in the chest or in the lumbar area. Endoscopic thoracicsympathectomy (ETS) works extremely well for palmar sweating. Long-term studies show it is durable and the majority of patients are satisfied. Most cases will get a degree of compensatory sweating elsewhere on the body that is tolerable, but in some cases ETS can have unpredictable side-effects.


AnonymousPulse (Apr 6, 2011): 18.
Surgeon Mr Alan Cameron answers GP Dr Pam Brown's questions
Mr Alan Cameron is a consultant surgeon in Ipswich and past-president of the International Society for Sympathetic Surgery
Dr Pam Brown is a GP in Swansea

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Several  reports  have  dealt  with  the  alteration  of  antibody  responses  of  spleen  and  lymph nodes  following  sympathectomy

Sympathectomy significantly alters vascular responses

Vascular responses to warming were studied in hemiplegic patients and after sympathectomy, using venous occlusion plethysmography of foot and leg. Comparisons were made with corresponding age groups. The pattern of response was essentially unchanged in hemiplegic patients, but was altered substantially where sympathetic pathways had been interrupted.

Vasomotor Responses in the Extremities of Subjects with Various Neurologic Lesions

I. Reflex Responses to Warming