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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

sympathectomy surgery

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Old 03-20-2012, 10:36 PM   #1
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Unhappy sympathectomy surgery

I have recently been diagnosed with rsd in my right upper extremity by having several stellete ganglion blocks. The blocks worked for no more than a day or two. My new pm dr said that was because I was diagnosed too late for the blocks to really give me relief for any lenght of time.
I have been suffering with nerve pain since 1996 when my college softball career was cut short with thoracic outlet syndrome. An overuse injury. I had several surgeries on my shoulder and thoracic area in the late 90's. Each surgery caused more pain. My final surgery resulted in one branch of the brachial plexus being cut. This was not planned but a result of too much scar tissue around the plexus.
I have been shuffled from dr to dr over the years. Pm drs, neurologists, thoracic drs. At one point i has a scs implanted, which gave me five years of no pain. THE BEST FIVE YEARS OF MY LIFE!! After the five years my body didn't accept the stimulator any more. Since than I have just been trying new meds as they came out. I now take lyrica, duragesic patch,lidoderm patch and roxicodone which give me a minimal amount of relief. I don't want to spend the rest of my life on these meds!
My new pm dr has explained to me that although the blocks only worked for such a small amount ot time they were still successful in showing two things. 1- I definately have rsd and 2- I am a good canidate for surgery to permanately cut the stellette ganglion. He called it a sympathectomy.
Does anyone know any information about this surgery and its side effects?
Has anyone had this surgery for rsd? Thanks for any help anyone can give. I am lost.

Last edited by gliickie; 03-21-2012 at 04:29 PM. Reason: typo

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Old 03-21-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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Re: sympathectomy surgery

Any surgery carries a high risk of caausing spreads or flares so you need to think seriously about this. As far as I know the only possibility to avoid that is to have a full sympathetic nerve block from 48 pre-op to 48 hrs post op and no general.
I read a paper from one Doctor claiming 100% sucess rate doing it this way.

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