ENDOSCOPIC THORACIC SYMPATHECTOMY
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy cures hyperhydrosis. Surgery is performed by inserting a miniature camera and instruments into the chest through small stab wounds similar to that used for knee arthroscopy.
The neurosurgeon cuts the sympathetic nerves of the T-2 ganglion with magnification and illumination provided by the camera.The surgery lasts an hour. The procedure is performed on an out-patient basis and most patients return to work and regular physical activity within one week. The endoscopic technique is very safe and is curative in 98% of patients
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What are the risks of surgery?
Risks of surgery include infection, blood loss and injury to structures in the chest including the lung and nervous tissue. These complications are rare, but not nil. The major neurologic risk of the procedure is a Horner’s syndrome. Patients with a Horner’s syndrome will notice a lazy eyelid and a small pupil. This syndrome is caused by injury to the T-1 sympathetic nerves, located just above the T-2 ganglion and which innervate the eyelid muscles and pupil.
What are side effects of surgery?
Patients may experience compensatory sweating of the chest, abdomen, thighs and legs. This may occur in up to 50% of patients. This is rarely a nuissance. Gustatory sweating, a condition in which sweating increases while eating or smelling certain foods develops in rare cases.
Who cannot have this surgery?
Those patients with previous chest surgery or significant pulmonary disease may not be candidates.
Should I have surgery?
That is a individual decision based upon how much hyperhydrosis affects quality of life and understanding the risks and benefits of surgery. New surgical techniques have dramatically reduced the discomfort and healing time for those patients considering sympathectomy.