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Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2009 Dec;9(6):970-2. doi: 10.1510/icvts.2009.212365. Epub 2009 Aug 10.

Effectiveness of sympathetic block by clipping in the treatment of hyperhidrosis and facial blushing.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Hospital Universitari Sagrat Cor, C/Viladomat 288, Barcelona 08029, Spain.


Main cause of dissatisfaction after videothoracoscopic (VATS) sympathectomy in the treatment of hyperhidrosis (HH) and facial blushing (FB) is compensatory sweating (CS). Sympathetic nerve (SN) clipping permits to revert the block effect by removing the clips in case of an intolerable CS. We present our experience with this technique. Sixty-one patients diagnosed for HH and/or FB were operated on VATS SN clipping. Clipping levels varied in function for the sort of disease: FB: T2, palmar HH: T3, axillary HH: T4, palmar-axillary HH: T3-4. Results were evaluated 1 week, 3 months and 12 months after surgery. Fifty-eight of the 61 patients showed improvement of their symptoms (95%). There were minor complications in three patients (5.5%). CS was seen in 38/61 (62.2%), being labelled as mild in 33/61 (54%) and severe in 5/61 patients (8.2%), no patient qualified it as intolerable and it was not necessary to remove the clips for CS in any case. SN clipping by VATS is a safe and effective procedure for the management of FB and palmar/axillary HH. Levels of CS are similar or lesser than with the standard sympathicotomy and, if necessary, this technique allows to revert the sympathetic block removing the clips.

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