Operative monitoring of hand and axillary temperature during endoscopic superior thoracic sympathectomy for the treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis
Sáiz-Sapena N, Vanaclocha V, Panta F, Kadri C, Torres W.
To find out how much the temperature in the palm rises after upper thoracic sympathectomy for palmar hyperhidrosis, and correlate the temperature with the outcome.
University hospital, Spain.
73 patients (34 women and 39 men, age range 16-42 years, mean 26) who were operated for palmar hyperhidrosis between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 1997.
Bilateral thoracic endoscopic sympathectomy during which the temperature was monitored on the skin of both axillae and thenar eminences, and in the oesophagus.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Morbidity, alleviation of hyperhidrosis, recurrence rate, and differences in temperature postoperatively.
There was minor bleeding during operation in 25 cases (34%), but in only 4 was it sufficient to require insertion of a drain; 2 patients developed transient Homer's syndrome; but the most common complication was compensatory hyperhidrosis (n = 52, 71%). In only 5 was this other than mild and required treatment with aluminium chloride in ethanol 25%. Palmar hyperhidrosis was alleviated in all cases, axillary sweating was considerably improved, and there was improvement in the feet in 56 (77%). There were 5 recurrences, all on the right side, during a mean follow up of 9 months (range 2-36), but in no case was the sweating severe. In almost all cases the temperature of the palm was less than that of the axilla before operation by a mean (SD) of 0.9 (0.3) degrees C. The rise in temperature varied from 1.7 (0.4) degrees C to 2.6 (0.4) degrees C. In the 5 patients who developed recurrences the increase was less (0.5 (0.4) degrees C).
Thoracic endoscopic sympathectomy is safe, simple, and effective in treating palmar hyperhidrosis that has not responded to conservative treatment. Intradermal monitoring is an accurate and cost-effective way of monitoring temperature during operation. Although it is essential to achieve a rise in temperature of 1 degrees C, our most important finding was that the final temperature in both hands and axillae should be above 35 degrees C and as near as possible to 36 degrees C.