Is there any relationship between quality of life and the level of sympathectomy in primary palmar hyperhidrosis? Single-center experience

Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Mar;68(3):273-279. doi: 10.1007/s11748-019-01210-7. Epub 2019 Sep 21.


Background: The discussions at the surgical levels (sympathectomy levels) about endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) method, which is applied in hyperhidrosis treatment in the present day and acknowledged as the golden treatment method, continue. Mainly, most of the studies evaluates postoperative early period results. Our aim in this study is to compare the long-term quality of life depending on the different surgical levels (sympathectomy levels) and evaluate the postoperative complications.

Methods: 165 patients operated due to palmar hyperhidrosis between January 2012 and July 2017 were evaluated. Sympathectomy was performed either by clipping or cauterization and sympathetic nerves included were T2-4, T3-4, or T3 levels. Data were retrospectively reviewed for complications, factors affecting the postoperative quality of life.

Results: Ninety of the patients were male (54.5%) and 75 (45.5%) were female. The level of ganglion block was T2-T4 in 62 patients (37.6%), T3-T4 in 46 patients (27.9%), and T3 in 57 patients (34.5%). Early complications were observed in 27 patients (16.4%). Compensatory hyperhidrosis (CH) was observed in 62 patients (37.6%). There was a significant difference in the postoperative quality of life according to ETS level (p < 0.001). Patients who underwent T2-T4 sympathectomy had a lower quality of life than patients who underwent isolated T3 or T3-T4 sympathectomy.

Conclusion: Based on our results, we recommend performing lower level resections to increase the long-term quality of life in palmar hyperhidrosis patients. The lower risk of CH and comparable quality of life suggest that T3 sympathectomy is more effective.

Keywords: Compensatory hyperhidrosis; Quality of life; Sympathectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Endoscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / psychology*
  • Hyperhidrosis / surgery*
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Period
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sympathectomy / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult