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

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.