Comparison of T2 and T3 sympathectomy for compensatory sweating on palmar hyperhidrosis

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An otherwise successfully performed endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) to treat palmar hyperhidrosis (PH) often has a serious side effect: compensatory sweating (CS). This side effect occurs in other parts of the body to a disturbing extent. The objective of this study is to determine whether there is a relationship between the level of ETS performed on patients with PH, and the occurrence and severity of postoperational CS.


Between January 2014 and January 2015, ETS procedures were performed on 25 randomly selected consecutive subjects (group A) at T2 level, and on another 25 subjects (group B) at T3 level, who all felt severely handicapped due to PH. All subjects were assessed in terms of their demographic characteristics including gender and age, as well as postoperative complications, short-term results, side effects, recurrence of symptoms, and long-term results.


The symptoms disappeared in all subjects in short-term, and no recurrence was seen in their short or long-term follow-ups. At the end of year one, CS developed at a rate of 12% in group A and 8% in group B, particularly in their back and abdominal regions. The overall satisfaction with the procedure in year one was 96% in group A and 100% in group B.


When an ETS performed at T2 or T3 level for PH involves only the interruption of the sympathetic chain, with a limitation on the range of dissection and avoidance of any damage to ganglia, sweating is stopped completely. No recurrence of PH is encountered, and CS develops only at low rates and severities.

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