Excessive sweating is a problem that affects 0.6% of the population. It is most prevalent in young adults. Since 1985 bilateral thoroscopic sympathectomy (ETS) has been available, being performed as an outpatient with minimal side effects. It is 98% effective in controlling hand sweating, but has a higher failure rate with severe compensatory sweating (CS) when done for craniofacial hyperhidrosis.
Beginning September 2005 a prospective outcomes database was begun on all ETS patients at the Center. Patients with hand sweating had a bilateral T 3 clamping procedure. Patients were followed at 2 weeks and at 8 weeks after surgery with a questionaire about results, complications, satisfaction and CS.
800 patients have had ETS at the Center. 55 patients were entered into the outcomes data base. Ages ranged from 14-48 years. There were 31 female and 24 male patients. 5 of 55 (9.1%) had incomplete follow up data. 1 patient had recurrent hand sweating (1.8%). There were no major complications. CS averaged 1.4 on a scale of 0 to 5. Of interest, for facial hyperhidrosis (5 patients with a T 2 clamp), CS was 3.3 and recurrence was 50%.
In conclusion, ETS is a safe and effective treatment for palmar hyperhidrosis with a 98% success rate and a low rate of compensatory sweating. Performing ETS for craniofacial hyperhidrosis is not recommended except in select patients because of a high failure and CS rate.
Program Number: P408