Author(s): de Campos JR, Kauffman P, Werebe Ede C, Andrade Filho LO, Kusniek S, , de Campos JR, Kauffman P, Werebe Ede C, Andrade Filho LO, Kusniek S,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Thoracic sympathectomy is indicated to treat primary hyperhidrosis. The objective is to analyze the results and complications of thoracic sympathectomy and propose a questionnaire to assess the quality of life of patients. METHODS: Between October 1995 and March 2002, 378 patients were evaluated. Sixty-two percent were female, with a mean age of 26.8 years old (range 9 to 70 years old). There were 57.4\% patients with palmar-plantar hyperhidrosis; 25\% with palmar, plantar, and axillary hyperhidrosis; 15.7\% with pure axillary hyperhidrosis; and 6.5\% with craniofacial hyperhidrosis. General anesthesia was used in 97.3\%, epidural with sedation in 2.7\%. The sympathetic chain was resected in 12.5\%, thermal ablation with the electrical scalpel was performed in 66.3\%, and with the harmonic scalpel in 21.2\% of the patients. RESULTS: Successful sympathectomies were performed in 90.3\% of the patients; the follow-up was from 1 to 60 months (mean 12.4 +/- 8.3 months). The recurrence rates were 8.2\% for palmar hyperhidrosis, 13.7\% for pure axillary hyperhidrosis, 27.5\% of which were reoperated successfully. Improvement of the plantar hyperhidrosis was also registered in 58\%. Horner's syndrome was reported in 1\% with regression in half of them after 30 days. No mortality or serious complications were observed, nor the need to convert to thoracotomy. Of the total number of patients, 93.4\% answered the quality of life questionnaire, 86.4\% of whom noted improvement after the procedure. CONCLUSIONS: Thoracic sympathectomy is a simple, effective, safe method for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, resulting in an improved quality of life for patients. The questionnaire documents this change.
This article was published in Ann Thorac Surg
and referenced in Journal of Surgery