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Thoracic Sympathectomy

Hyperhidrosis, a condition that affects an estimated 1 percent to 2 percent of the population, results in excessive and unpredictable sweating that can become quite embarrassing or even functionally disabling.

Conservative and alternative therapies for hyperhidrosis do exist, including:

  • Medications
  • Botox injections
  • miraDry
  • iontophoresis

Often, these therapies require repeat treatments or become less effective over time.

When conservative treatments fail to relieve your excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis surgery can offer a more effective, one-time solution. Thoracic sympathectomy is a safe and well-established minimally invasive procedure for the permanent treatment of hyperhidrosis.

Who is a candidate for hyperhidrosis surgery?

Hyperhidrosis surgery is an excellent option for individuals who suffer from excessive sweating that has negatively affected them physically, socially or emotionally.

While this procedure is most effective for hyperhidrosis of the hands or hands/feet combination, our surgeons will assess each patient’s hyperhidrosis symptoms to determine their candidacy for surgery.

Patients may not be eligible for the procedure if they are obese or have severe medical conditions, including:

  • Cardio-respiratory illness
  • Pleural disease
  • Untreated thyroid disease

Thoracic sympathectomy procedure

Thoracic sympathectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed in the comfort of our state-of-the-art surgical facilities.

Under general anesthesia, our surgeons begin by making two small incisions (5 mm) on the side of the chest.

Next, the chest cavity is slightly insufflated with CO2 gas and a fiber-optic camera is inserted, providing live video feed to monitors within the operating room. Using these monitors, our surgeons meticulously dissect out and cut the segment of sympathetic nerves that is responsible for excessive sweating.

Finally, the CO2 and instruments are removed from the chest and the two small incisions are closed with sutures.

Recovery from thoracic sympathectomy

As an outpatient procedure, most patients can return home within several hours of the surgery with an immediate and significant reduction in sweating.

The minimally invasive approach used by our surgeons ensures:

  • Greatly reduced postoperative pain
  • Minimal scarring
  • Faster postoperative recovery

Regular physical activity and work can be resumed in as soon as a few days after surgery.

Risks of thoracic sympathectomy

As with any surgical procedure, thoracic sympathectomy carries a small risk of complications, including bleeding, infection or residual air in the chest.

After hyperhidrosis surgery, some patients may experience compensatory sweating around the abdomen, legs or back, though not nearly as extreme or visible as their previous symptoms.

To ensure the best results and lowest risk of complications, hyperhidrosis surgery should only be performed by an experienced thoracic surgeon.

Schedule a consultation with a thoracic surgeon today by calling 714-456-8000.

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