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.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Intense pain, reduced inspiratory capacity following sympathectomy

Postgraduate Program in Anesthesiology, Botucatu School of Medicine, UNESP, Bauru, SP, Brazil.
PURPOSE To compare analgesia traditionally used for thoracic sympathectomy to intrapleural ropivacaine injection in two different doses. METHODS Twenty-four patients were divided into three similar groups, and all of them received intravenous dipyrone. Group A received intravenous tramadol and intrapleural injection of saline solution. Group B received intrapleural injection of 0.33% ropivacaine, and Group C 0.5% ropivacaine. The following aspects were analyzed: inspiratory capacity, respiratory rate and pain. Pain was evaluated in the immediate postoperative period by means of the visual analog scale and over a one-week period. RESULTS In Groups A and B, reduced inspiratory capacity was observed in the postoperative period. In the first postoperative 12 hours, only 12.5% of the patients in Groups B and C showed intense pain as compared to 25% in Group A. In the subsequent week, only one patient in Group A showed mild pain while the remainder reported intense pain. In Group B, half of the patients showed intense pain, and in Group C, only one presented intense pain. CONCLUSION Intrapleural analgesia with ropivacaine resulted in less pain in the late postoperative period with better analgesic outcomes in higher doses, providing a better ventilatory pattern.