Facial blushing and hyperhidrosis, particularly in the facial, axillary or palmar distribution, are socially, professionally, and psychologically debilitating conditions. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy can be carried out through multiple ports or by using a single port and a modified thoracoscope with integrated electrocautery. We reviewed our own experience to compare outcomes between these methods.Methods:
One hundred and nine consecutive endoscopic thoracic sympathectomies performed on 96 patients (M:F, 30:66) were examined with respect to operative method, symptom control, and patient satisfaction. Complete follow-up was available on 144 treated sides in 77 patients (80.2%), 38 treated with two ports, 39 performed by a one-port procedure. Mean age was 32.6 years (range 18-63) with a median follow-up of 25 months (range 5-85). Pooled data showed that the mean duration hospital stay was 1.6 nights with no deaths, conversions, or neurological injuries.Results:
The one-port group showed superior outcomes in terms of hospital stay, rate of postoperative pneumothorax, and the need for chest drain insertion; however, there was no correlation between number of ports and patient satisfaction. The mean overall satisfaction rating out of 5 was 3.3 with 76.6% of patients rating the outcome as 3 or more. 90.9% had an initial improvement in symptoms, although 21 patients (27.3%) described a late return of symptoms.Conclusion:
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy can be safely and effectively carried out using a single port with similar results to the traditional two-port procedure. The one-port procedure may allow for a shorter duration of stay and lower complication rate.