Object. Transthoracic endoscopic T2–3 sympathectomy is currently the treatment of choice for palmar hyperhidrosis. Compensatory sweating of the face, trunk, thigh, and sole of the foot was found in more than 50% of patients who underwent this procedure. The authors conducted this study to investigate the associated intraoperative changes in plantar skin temperature and postoperative plantar sweating.
Methods. One hundred patients with palmar hyperhidrosis underwent bilateral transthoracic endoscopic T2–3 sympathectomy. There were 60 female and 40 male patients who ranged in age from 13 to 40 years (mean age 21.6 years). Characteristics studied included changes in palmar and plantar skin temperature measured intraoperatively, as well as pre- and postoperative changes in plantar sweating and sympathetic skin responses (SSRs).
In 59 patients (59%) elevation of plantar temperature was demonstrated at the end of the surgical procedure. In this group, plantar sweating was found to be exacerbated in three patients (5%); plantar sweating was improved in 52 patients (88.1%); and no change was demonstrated in four patients (6.8%). In the other group of patients in whom no temperature change occurred, increased plantar sweating was demonstrated in three patients (7.3%); plantar sweating was improved in 20 patients (48.8%); and no change was shown in 18 patients (43.9%). The difference between temperature and sweating change was significant (p = 0.001).
Compared with the presympathectomy rate, the rate of absent SSR also significantly increased after sympathectomy: from 20 to 76% after electrical stimulation and 36 to 64% after deep inspiration stimulation, respectively (p < 0.05).
Conclusions. In contrast to compensatory sweating in other parts of the body after T2–3 sympathetomy, improvement in plantar sweating was shown in 72% and worsened symptoms in 6% of patients. The intraoperative plantar skin temperature change and perioperative SSR demonstrated a correlation between these changes.