Endoscopic transthoracic limited sympathotomy for palmar-plantar hyperhidrosis: Outcomes and complications during a 10-year period

John L.D. Atkinson, Nicolee C. Fode-Thomas, Robert D. Fealey, John H. Eisenach, Stephan J. Goerss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To review surgical results of endoscopic transthoracic limited sympathotomy for palmar-plantar hyperhidrosis during the past decade. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 155 consecutive patients who underwent surgery from June 30, 2000, through December 31, 2009, for medically refractory palmarplantar hyperhidrosis using a technique of T1-T2 sympathotomy disconnection, designed for successful palmar response and minimization of complications. RESULTS: Of the 155 patients, 44 (28.4%) were male, and 111 (71.6%) were female; operative times averaged 38 minutes. No patient experienced Horner syndrome, intercostal neuralgia, or pneumothorax. The only surgical complication was hemothorax in 2 patients (1.3%); in 1 patient, it occurred immediately postoperatively and in the other patient, 10 days postoperatively; treatment in both patients was successful. All 155 patients had successful (warm and dry) palmar responses at discharge. Long-term follow-up (>3 months; mean, 40.2 months) was obtained for 148 patients (95.5%) with the following responses to surgery: 96.6% of patients experienced successful control of palmar sweating; 69.2% of patients experienced decreased axillary sweating; and 39.8% of patients experienced decreased plantar sweating. At follow-up, 5 patients had palmar sweating (3 patients, <3 months; 1 patient, 10-12 months; 1 patient, 16-18 months). Compensatory hyperhidrosis did not occur in 47 patients (31.7%); it was mild in 92 patients (62.2%), moderate in 7 patients (4.7%), and severe in 2 patients (1.3%). CONCLUSION: In this series, a small-diameter uniportal approach has eliminated intercostal neuralgia. Selecting a T1-T2 sympathotomy yields an excellent palmar response, with a very low severe compensatory hyperhidrosis complication rate. The low failure rate was noted during 18 months of follow-up and suggests that longer follow-up is necessary in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-729
Number of pages9
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Endoscopic transthoracic limited sympathotomy for palmar-plantar hyperhidrosis: Outcomes and complications during a 10-year period'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this