Thoracoscopic sympathectomy is surgery to cut or clamp the
sympathetic nerves. The sympathetic nerves run down both sides of the spine.
The surgery may be done to help control heavy sweating of the hands. It also
may be used to treat chronic pain or other problems with the sympathetic nerve
Your chest may be sore where the doctor made the cuts
(incisions) and put the surgical tools. This usually gets better after several
days. But for up to 2 weeks, you may feel pain in your chest when you take a
deep breath. You will probably be able to go back to work or your usual routine
after about 1 to 3 weeks.
It is likely that you will have less
sweating from your hands right after the surgery.
This care sheet
gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But
each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better
as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and
call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your
test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek
immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to
contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of:
February 19, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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