Early experience with endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy for plantar hyperhidrosis

Asian J Endosc Surg. 2016 May;9(2):128-34. doi: 10.1111/ases.12275. Epub 2016 Jan 29.


Objective: We describe our endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy technique and our early experience using it to treat plantar hyperhidrosis.

Methods: We reviewed 20 lumbar sympathectomies performed in our vascular unit for plantar hyperhidrosis in 10 patients from 2011 and 2014. Demographics and outcomes were analyzed and a review of the literature conducted.

Results: All procedures were carried out endoscopically with no intraoperative or postoperative morbidity. Plantar anhidrosis was achieved in all the patients, although two patients (20%) suffered a relapse. Unwanted side-effects occurred in the form of compensatory sweating in three patients (30%) and post-sympathectomy neuralgia in two patients (20%). None of the patients experienced sexual dysfunction.

Conclusion: Management of plantar hyperhidrosis may be based upon a therapeutic ladder starting with conservative measures and working up to surgery depending on the severity of the disease. Minimally invasive (endoscopic) sympathectomy for the thoracic chain is well established, but minimally invasive sympathectomy for the lumbar chain is a relatively new technique. Endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy provides an effective, minimally invasive method of surgical management, but long-term data are lacking.

Keywords: Anhidrosis; endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy; plantar hyperhidrosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / surgery*
  • Lumbosacral Plexus / surgery*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sympathectomy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult