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, April 25, 2014

Surprisingly, many patients experienced mild recurrent symptoms within the first year

Sympathicotomy for isolated facial blushing:... [Ann Thorac Surg. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI: "Mild recurrence of facial blushing occurred in 30% of patients within the first year. One patient experienced Horner's syndrome. Compensatory sweating occurred in 93% of patients, gustatory sweating 36%, and dry hands in 66%; 13% of patients regretted the operation despite thorough preoperative selection and information."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Patients who undergo sympathotomy for hyperhidrosis will commonly report "clinically bothersome" compensatory hyperhidrosis.

 2014 Apr;147(4):1160-1163.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2013.12.016. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

ETS is not without its critics

"ETS is not without its critics. Like any major surgical procedure, there is an operative risk, with a prominent fatality in Dublin a few years ago. Homer's syndrome can result. The most common problem is the development of 'compensatory hyperhidrosis', usually on the back. In 2003, ETS was banned in its birthplace, Sweden, due to overwhelming complaints by disabled patients."

Enabling freedom from hyperhidrosis

Sympathectomy causes wall thinning, elongation, convolution, and aneurysm formation

"Sympathectomy causes basilar artery enlargment, which is beneficial for maintaining cerebral blood flow; however, it also causes wall thinning, elongation, convolution, and aneurysm formation, which may be hazardous in stenoocclusive carotid artery disease. Sympathectomy can prevent new vessel formation and hyperthyrophic changes at the posterior circulation. Neovascularisation is not detected adequately in sympathectomised animals."

Acta Neurochirurgica156.5 (May 2014): 963-9.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"The custom of a majority is no guarantee of safety and is seldom a guide to best medical practice." in Legal Forum

"The custom of a majority is no guarantee of safety and is seldom a guide to best medical practice." in Legal Forum: "Cameron`s claim that there has been only one death attributable to synchronous bilateral thoracoscopic sympathectomy is implausible. Surgeons and anaesthetists are reticent in publicizing such events and Civil Law Reports of settled cases are an inadequate measure of the current running total. The custom of a majority is no guarantee of safety and is seldom a guide to best medical practice."

Jack Collin,
Consultant Surgeon