CLINICAL TRIAL
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy: an efficient and safe method for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.

BACKGROUND: Hyperhidrosis of the palms, axillae, and face has a strong negative impact on the quality of life for many persons. Existing nonsurgical therapeutic options are far from ideal. Definitive cure can be obtained by upper thoracic sympathectomy. The traditional open surgical technique is a major procedure; few patients and doctors have found that risk-benefit considerations favor surgery. Endoscopic minimal invasive surgical techniques are now available.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether endoscopic ablation of the upper thoracic sympathetic chain is efficient and safe in the treatment of hyperhidrosis.

METHODS: We treated 850 patients with bilateral endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy.

RESULTS: There was no mortality or life-threatening complication. Nine patients (1%) required intercostal drainage because of hemothorax or pneumothorax. Treatment failure occurred in 18 cases (2%) and symptoms recurred in 17 patients (2%). At the end of follow-up (median, 31 months) 98% of the patients reported satisfactory results.

CONCLUSION: Endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy is an efficient, safe, and minimally invasive surgical method for the treatment of palmar, axillary, and facial hyperhidrosis.

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