Autonomic Activities in Hyperhidrosis Patients before, during, and after Endoscopic Laser Sympathectomy

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THREE HUNDRED PALMAR hyperhidrosis (PH) patients have been treated with video endoscopic laser sympathectomy during the last 2 years. Monitoring the palmar skin perfusion (PSP) and palmar skin temperature (PST) has been used intraoperatively to aid the confirmation of the correct sympathetic segment for laser ablation. The preoperative and postoperative PSP and PST and sympathetic skin response (SSR) also have been measured to evaluate the therapeutic effect of this method. An apparent increase of PSP would occur intraoperatively after the interruption of the T2 sympathetic segment, and then a gradual elevation of PST would follow after the extirpation of the segment. A rise of PST of about 3°C after laser ablation of the appropriate segment indicated sufficient denervation of the hand and predicted long-lasting relief of PH. Furthermore, both PSP and PST also significantly increased after the operation. The postoperative elevation of the PST (usually about 3°C) is similar to that recorded during intraoperative monitoring. The amplitude and the latency of SSR in the palm and sole were recorded both before and after sympathectomy. A remarkable decrease of palmar SSR amplitude and its ratio was found postoperatively by comparing it with that of plantar SSR in the same patient. These autonomic activity changes have correlated well with the postoperative satisfaction of the patients. Based on our study, the anatomic identification confirmed by the sympathetic monitorings has proved essential to achieve a definite and adequate sympathectomy leading to a satisfactory resolution of PH without the need of a tissue diagnosis. In most cases, an en bloc ablation of the T2 segment would result in a significant temperature elevation of the palm and thus it is sufficient to relieve PH with the least complication and without substantial increased risk of recurrence.

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