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Kardiochir Torakochirurgia Pol. 2014 Sep;11(3):264-7. doi: 10.5114/kitp.2014.45674. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Could thoracoscopic sympathicotomy for hyperhidrosis also improve acne vulgaris?

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Ufuk University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
Department of Dermatology, Ufuk University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
Clinic of Dermatology, Guven Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.


in English, Polish


The aim of this study is to emphasize the therapeutic effect of thoracoscopic sympathicotomy performed at our clinic for facial/scalp hyperhidrosis or blushing on coincidental facial acne vulgaris based on previous reports indicating an association between the sympathetic nerve stimulus, epithelial melanocyte system and sebogenesis.


The possible therapeutic effects of sympathicotomy on facial acne vulgaris were analyzed in a study design of retrospective review with prospective collection of the data from March 2005 to March 2013.


Forty-two patients were operated on at our clinic due to facial/scalp hyperhidrosis or blushing and 30 of these also had facial acne vulgaris. However, none harbored a systemic co-morbidity. The patients' medical history indicated that they had used several medical therapies including topical or systemic antibiotherapies to treat their acne for several years but this had met with limited success and the treatment was stopped in all patients an average of 8 ± 2.4 months prior to the operations. Furthermore, the patients with acne vulgaris also underwent a thoracoscopic sympathicotomy procedure at the second costal head (R2) for hyperhidrosis or blushing. All 30 patients showed marked improvement of their acne grade at the first postoperative month (p < 0.01).


In this study, the patients' facial acne vulgaris grade significantly improved after undergoing a sympathicotomy. This can be explained by the possible effect the nervous system had on the epithelial melanocyte system and sebogenesis. However, prospective studies with an increased number of patients are needed to verify our findings.


acne vulgaris; hyperhidrosis; sympathectomy

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