To evaluate the role of the sympathetic nervous system in modulating esophageal motility, esophageal manometry was performed on two groups of patients who underwent upper dorsal sympathectomy for relief of palmar hyperhydrosis. In six patients sympathectomy was done by the supraclaviçular approach, with removal of T2 and T3 ganglia. Manometry was performed before the operation and three weeks after it. In seven other patients sympathectomy was done by the axillary approach, with removal of T2-T4 ganglia. Manometry in this group was performed 28.4±22.4 months after the operation. Fifteen individuals with an intact sympathetic system served as controls. Manometric parameters evaluated were esophageal contraction amplitude and duration and lower esophageal sphincter pressure. The difference between the results obtained in the pre- and postoperative periods in the first group was not statistically significant. The differences between the two patient groups and between the patient groups and the control group were not statistically significant either. We conclude that upper dorsal sympathectomy does not affect esophageal motility in man.
- upper dorsal sympathectomy