In the classic concept of the autonomic nervous system the actions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions balance each other and the destruction of one causes the relative hyperfunction of the other. Sectioning the vagus nerves in the neck of dogs produces paralysis of the esophagus, cardiospasm, atony of the stomach, and death within three days from aspiration pneumonia. Numerous authors,1 seeking to counteract the effects of unbalanced innervation, have performed sympatnectomy as well as vagotomy without alteration of these results.
Bilateral thoracic sympathectomy, in itself, has no effect whatsoever upon esophageal peristalsis1 or gastric motor function,2 although it can cause an increase of gastric secretion.3 Even after very extensive division of the sympathetic nerves in experimental animals,4 no evidence of parasympathetic hyperfunction is seen and they can live a normal life in the laboratory. On the other hand, sympathectomy has been shown to produce
MANZANO C, TORRES E, HALL RC, COBO A. Motility of Esophagus of DogAfter High Vagotomy. Arch Surg. 1964;89(6):1005-1007. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01320060073013