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Posted by Lee Ann
on July 03, 2000 at 10:17:18:
In Reply to: sympathectomy posted by michelle on June 29, 2000 at 03:12:50:
: As anyone ever had a sympathectomy? My doctor mentioned it, but all I have heard are bad things and that the nerves rejenerate. Any feedback?
Michelle, I have had RSDS for 8 years. I had my sympathectomy four years ago. I was almost
pain free for 3 months and then all the symptoms came back. I don't know if the nerves
regenerated or if they took a new pathway, but it did not work and I have to live with some of
the things caused by the sympathectomy. The docs will tell you you won't sweat anymore on
the side you have the sympathectomy on, but they won't tell you what that means for you out
in 90 + degree heat. You can get overheated easily. Plus you sweat twice as much on the other
side. It really is unpleasant. Also, I have chest wall pain because the docs need to do a nerve block
shortly after the sympathectomy to prevent this pain from becoming permanent and they did not
do this on me. I often joke that between the chest pain and the left arm pain from my RSDS I would
never know if I was having a heart attack. I would recommend that you consider treatment options
like a dorsal column stimulator first. The sympathectomy is neurodestructive and can't be reversed
so use it as a last option. Also, before considering the sympathectomy, make sure that sympathetic
blocks relieve most of your pain. If they don't, then the sympathectomy won't work for you anyway
because your pain is not maintained by the sympathetic nervous system. Good Luck
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