Retroperitoneoscopic lumbar sympathectomy for plantar hyperhidrosis

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Abstract

Objective:

The objective of this study was to assess the reduction in quality of life (QoL) caused by the persistence of primary plantar hyperhidrosis (PPH) symptoms and the level of satisfaction in PPH patients after retroperitoneoscopic lumbar sympathectomy (RLS). The efficacy, safety, and procedure of bilateral RLS in both sexes are also described in this study.

Methods:

This is a longitudinal study of consecutive patients who sought specific treatment from a private practitioner for severe PPH as classified on the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS) from October 2005 to October 2014. The patients were asked to report the symptoms of PPH experienced in the immediate preoperative period and to complete a standardized QoL questionnaire developed by de Campos at least 12 months after RLS. Disease outcomes, recurrence of symptoms, and any adverse effects of surgery were evaluated after 30 days and at least 12 months after RLS.

Results:

Lumbar sympathectomy was performed 116 times in 58 patients; 30 days after surgery, PPH was resolved in all patients. Three patients (5.2%) reported transient thigh neuralgia, and 19 (32.7%) reported transient paresthesia in the lower limbs. There were no reports of retrograde ejaculation. At a minimum of 12 months after RLS, 49 of the 58 patients had fully and correctly answered the follow-up questionnaire and noted a mild (HDSS 2) to moderate (HDSS 3) increase in pre-existing compensatory sweating. One patient had a PPH relapse within 6 months. Improvement in QoL due to the resolution of PPH was reported in 98% of the 49 patients. None of the operations necessitated a change in the laparotomy approach, and none of the patients died.

Conclusions:

RLS is safe and effective for the treatment of severe PPH in both sexes. There were no reports of retrograde ejaculation after resection of L3 and L4 ganglia. There was a mild to moderate increase in compensatory sweating in about half of the patients, but without any regret or dissatisfaction for having undergone the surgery because of a significant improvement in QoL.

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