In recent years the surgical treatment of cardiac pain has received much attention. The objective of the surgeon is to sever the pathway that conducts pain stimuli from the heart to consciousness. The identification of this pathway is based largely on comparative neuroanatomic studies. These investigations show that these structures vary not only in different animals but in man as well. Because of the insufficiency of the anatomic knowledge, as many as eight different operations have been devised for the relief of cardiac pain. The following briefly summarizes the operations that have been performed:
Cervical sympathectomy, including resection of the stellate ganglion on the left side and at times bilaterally.1
Section of the depressor nerve on the left side and at times bilaterally.2
Section of the sympathetic cord above the stellate ganglion on the left side.3
Section of a nerve fiber emerging from the vagus nerve on
SWETLOW GI, SCHWARTZ SP. THE TREATMENT OF CARDIAC PAIN BY PARAVERTEBRAL ALCOHOL BLOCK. JAMA. 1926;86(22):1679–1682. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670480009005
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