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Your sympathetic nerves run down the front of your spine outside your spinal column.

These nerves control the blood supply to your limbs as well as other sensations such sweating and flushing of your skin. If you are experiencing continuing leg pain, your consultant may recommend a chemical sympathectomy to improve the circulation in your limbs.

What happens during chemical sympathectomy?

Chemical sympathectomy is usually performed as a day case meaning you can go home the day of your procedure.

You will need to wear a hospital gown. An intravenous (IV) cannula (tiny needle) may be inserted in the back of your hand to allow us to administer fluids or medication quickly. You will lie on your stomach on the x-ray table and after cleaning your back your consultant will inject some local anaesthetic. They will use x-rays to guide a long, fine needle onto your sympathetic nerve. A small amount of dye may also be used to highlight the area. A drug to numb area will be injected. A plaster may be used to cover the injection site.

Going home after chemical sympathectomy

Although this procedure takes 10-15 minutes you will need to stay with us for 1-2 hours so we can monitor any reaction you may experience.

You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home. You should rest for at least 24 hours after your procedure. You may experience weakness in your legs but this should ease.

Bruising on the injection site may occur but should ease within a few days. In some cases patients experience groin pain.

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