This video is a step-by-step description of thoracoscopic sympathectomy.
Sweating is essential for thermoregulation. Hyperhidrosis is a condition of excess sweating from the eccrine glands and is associated with severe suffering for patients of all ages. It often worsens during adolescence. A generalised and focal type of hyperhidrosis which affects mainly the face, armpits, hands and feet can be distinguished from the focal variant. Thoracic sympathectomy has become the standard treatment for palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis worldwide.
The procedure is performed in the supine position with the upper body elevated about 30° in an adolescent patient. Both arms are abducted at 90° and single tube endotracheal ventilation is employed. A 3 mm trocar is placed in the anterior axillary line for a 3 mm 30° optic. A 5 mm trocar placed on the anterior axillary line (or breast fold in female patients) of the 4th or 5th intercostal space is used for the bipolar forceps. The sympathetic trunk and ganglia T 2 - 4 are identified and coagulated over the heads of ribs.
The thoracoscopic approach to focal palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis allows clear identification of the sympathetic structures on each side. Under direct vision, selective ablation of the ganglia and sympathetic trunk provides long-term benefit for patients.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.