Thoracoscopic sympathectomy for palmaris hyperhidrosis

Brent D. Matthews, Hong T. Bui, Kristi L. Harold, Kent W. Kercher, Michael A. Cowan, Craig A. Van Der Veer, B. Todd Heniford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: Palmaris hyperhidrosis is a disorder mediated by the sympathetic nervous system. It causes excessive sweating. This study evaluated the safety, efficacy, and outcome after thoracoscopic sympathectomy in patients with palmaris hyperhidrosis. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 18 patients (10 male) who underwent bilateral thoracoscopic sympathectomy between July 1998 and June 2001. Results: The patients' mean age was 34 years. No conversions to thoracotomy occurred. Three 2- to 5 mm trocars were used. The thoracic sympathetic chain was resected from ganglia T2-T4, except in one patient with axillary hyperhidrosis requiring resection to T5. The mean operating time was 112 minutes, the mean blood loss was 50 ml, and the mean postoperative hospital stay was 1.2 days. Two patients had a unilateral pneumothorax requiring tube thoracostomy; one patient developed a chest wall hematoma at a trocar site that resolved without treatment, and one patient developed a transient unilateral Homer's syndrome. There have been no hospital readmissions. After a mean follow-up period of 14 months, 11 patients (56%) reported compensatory sweating. Sixteen patients (89%) were satisfied with their outcomes. One patient was dissatisfied because of excessive compensatory sweating, and another continues to have mild unilateral sweating on one hand and compensatory sweating of the face. Conclusion: Thoracoscopic sympathectomy is a safe and effective alternative treatment for palmaris hyperhidrosis. Compensatory sweating occurs in more than 50% of patients but is tolerable in most. The majority of patients are satisfied with their short-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-258
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Thoracoscopic sympathectomy for palmaris hyperhidrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this