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Severe Plantar Hyperhidrosis: An Effective Surgical Solution

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Severe palmoplantar hyperhidrosis both affects activities of daily living and diminishes quality of life. This study evaluated overall safety and efficacy of endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy (ELS) using a clamping method in a large series of consecutive patients. Patient data were routinely entered into a prospectively designed database. Plantar sweating was graded as cured, improved, or unchanged. ELS (using 5-mm titanium clips) was performed in 154 patients, 68.2 per cent at the third lumbar vertebrae and 31.8 per cent at the fourth lumbar vertebrae. Follow-up averaged 15 months and ranged up to 4.7 years. Anhidrosis was achieved in 97.4 per cent of patients with the remainder reporting major reduction in symptoms. All patients were discharged home within 24 hours of surgery, requiring only oral analgesics, if any. There were two surgical complications (lymphatic leak and misidentification of genitofemoral nerve for sympathetic nerve). Six early patients required conversion to an open surgical procedure. Partial recurrence, usually mild, occurred in 4.5 per cent with 2.6 per cent requiring revision surgery. Severe plantar hyperhidrosis can be safely and effectively treated by endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy using the clamping method. It can be accomplished on an outpatient basis with low morbidity, complete resolution of symptoms, and a significant improvement in quality of life.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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