Context: The vagus nerves supply the neck viscera, heart, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. They join around the oesophagus to form the oesophageal plexus.
Question: Would damage to one vagus nerve in the neck have significant impact on heart rate and gastrointestinal tract function?
Thoughts: If the heart and GIT lie below the oesophageal plexus, which then continue in the inferior direction towards the cardiac and gastric plexuses, then surely a major functional failure in either the heart or GIT would require damage to both vagus nerves (?). I'm trying to make sense of the effect of their fusion, and whether or not this provides a compensating mechanism in the event that one of the two nerves is damaged.