Evaluation of Compensatory Sweating After Bilateral Thoracoscopic Sympathectomy for Palmar Hyperhidrosis

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The study is a retrospective review of 60 patients undergoing bilateral T2-T3 thoracoscopic sympathectomy for palmar hyperhidrosis in our department between 1997 and 2003. The study was based on a telephone questionnaire and medical chart review. Forty patients (67%) replied to the questionnaire and were included in the study. Postoperative complications, therapeutic results, patient satisfaction, and the severity of compensatory sweating (CS) were assessed. In all patients both palms were dry at the end of surgery. Postoperative complications included permanent unilateral Horner syndrome, wound infection, and residual pneumothorax resolving after thoracal drainage, in one patient each. CS with different severity occurred in 35 patients (87.5%). Six patients (15%) regretted undergoing the operation due to the extent and severity of the CS seriously affecting their quality of life. Thoracoscopic sympathectomy is a simple procedure with a high success rate. However, CS is a serious complication and a significant number of patients may regret undergoing the operation; a careful selection of patients and comprehensive explanation are advisable.

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