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, November 21, 2015

Snipping the nerve may stop 'flight-or-fight' stress response

What do sweaty palms and abnormal heart rhythms have in common? Both can be initiated by the nervous system during an adrenaline-driven "flight-or-fight" stress reaction, when the body senses danger.

Hyperhidrosis, an abnormal flight-or-fight response of the sympathetic nervous system that causes excessively sweaty palms may also contribute to problems like dangerous irregular rhythms from the lower chambers of the heart, known as ventricular arrhythmias.

UCLA cardiologists have now found that surgery to snip nerves associated with the sympathetic nervous system on both the left and right sides of the chest may be helpful in stopping dangerous, incessant ventricular arrhythmias — known as an "electrical storm" — when other treatment methods have failed. This same type of surgery has been used for years to alleviate hyperhidrosis.

The UCLA team's findings are reported in the Dec. 27–Jan. 3 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study is one of the first to assess the impact of bilateral cardiac sympathetic denervation (BCSD), surgery on both sides of the heart, to control arrhythmias. The research builds on previous work at UCLA in which a similar procedure was performed only on the left side. But for some patients to obtain relief, the researchers said, it must be done bilaterally.