Cell body reorganization in the spinal cord after elective surgery to treat palmar sweating

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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sympathectomy reduces emotional, stress-induced sweating indicating that it affects the stress-response

"...for reasons that are not obvious, many patients with facial hyperhidrosis and hyperhidrosis of the feet will benefit from upper thoracic sympathectomy. " 

(The Journal of Pain, Vol 1, No 4 (Winter), 2000: pp 261-264)

"Bilateral upper thoracic sympathicolysis is followed by redistribution of body perspiration, with a clear decrease in the zones regulated by mental or emotional stimuli, and an increase in the areas regulated by environmental stimuli, though we are unable to establish the etiology of this redistribution." 

(Surg Endosc. 2007 Nov;21(11):2030-3. Epub 2007 Mar 13.) 

"Palmar hyperhidrosis of clinical severity is a hallmark physical sign of many anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and especially social phobia.4 These are increasingly well understood and highly treatable neurobiological conditions. They are mod- erately heritable hard-wired fear responses,5 and are linked to amygdalar and locus coeruleus hyper-reactivity during psycho- social stress.6,7 Anxiety disorders are known to be much more common among women. This is consistent with the finding of Krogstad et al. that among controls sweating was reported more often by men, while among the hyperhidrosis group sweating was reported more often among women."

"A surgical treatment for anxiety-triggered palmar hyperhidrosis is not unlike treating tearfulness in major depression by severing the nerves to the lacrimal glands. We have recently made a similar argument advocating a psychopharmacological, rather then a surgi- cal, first-line treatment for blushing.9" 
(Journal Compilation - 2006 British Association of Dermatologists - British Journal of Dermatology 2006, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2006.07547.x)