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, 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)