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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

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