An assessment of anxiety in patients with primary hyperhidrosis before and after endoscopic thoracic sympathicolysis

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Abstract

Objective:

Endoscopic bilateral thoracic sympathicolysis (EBTS) is an effective and minimally invasive procedure used for patients with primary hyperhidrosis. The purpose of this study was to examine anxiety levels using standardized psychometric tools in hyperhidrosis patients before and after EBTS.

Methods:

A total of 106 patients diagnosed with hyperhidrosis who underwent EBTS were asked to fill out a questionnaire before and 12 months after the procedure that elicited the following information: (a) symptoms associated with hyperhidrosis; (b) the patient's level of anxiety; and (c) the extent to which this anxiety was incapacitating in their daily life. All patients also completed State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) before and 12 months after the EBTS.

Results:

Palpitations were reported preoperatively by 40% of patients versus 10% postoperatively, trembling of the hands in 24% versus 8%, facial blushing in 55% versus 11%, headache in 29% versus 9%, and non-specific epigastric pain in 19% versus 7%. Patients reported a marked improvement in the level of anxiety from a mean SD of 2.08 ± 1.1 preoperatively versus 0.39 ± 0.67 postoperatively (p ≪ 0.001), and the social impact (debilitating) of primary hyperhidrosis before and after surgery also showed significant improvement (p ≪ 0.001). The results of STAI showed significant improvement in the levels of anxiety after surgery compared with the preoperative levels and with established norms (p ≪ 0.001).

Conclusions:

Patients with primary hyperhidrosis that undergo EBTS presented a decrease in the level of anxiety and associated symptoms.

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