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Left Cardiac Sympathectomy- key hole surgery for long QT syndrome

Beta blockers are the mainstay of therapy for long QT syndrome and are very effective. However a small number of people can’t take them because of side effects or other medical conditions, or have a severe form of long QT needing some extra protection.  CIDG has now reported the New Zealand experience of a key hole procedure which cuts the nerve supply to to the heart. It presents results from the patients perspective.  Pioneered by a group from Italy under Peter Schwartz, the left cardiac sympathectomy (LCS)  is very effective at reducing cardiac events in long QT syndrome, and can also be used in CPVT.  It does, however, have some side effects, including a dry left hand and sometimes a very sweaty right hand, and flushing of half of the face during exercise, the so called “harlequin effect”.  The report shows that despite these side effects, the vast majority of patients were happy they had had the procedure and would recommend it to others in the same situation. Click here to read more.