What does T level mean?
The “T” level means the corresponding thoracic vertebra level where the sympathectomy is carried out. This relates to the rib level where the surgery done. There are some surgeons who use the R letter (R for Rib) to describe the location of the sympathectomy. Very few surgeons use the letter G to describe the ganglion where the operation took place. Doing the sympathectomy with the clamping method gives any independent observer to know the exact level whereas if no clamps are used then it is difficult to ascertain the exact level of the procedure. It gives the surgeons a way to follow-up where the sympathectomy was done so results can be compared over the years. Dr. Reisfeld carefully documents each case to the exact location of where the clamps are applied for ETS.
For lumbar sympathectomy the “L” level corresponds to the level of the lumbar vertebra where the lumbar sympathetic nerve was clamped. Learn more about the lumbar sympathectomy level.