Surgery Today

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 211–218 | Cite as

The treatment of primary palmar hyperhidrosis: A review

  • Moshe Hashmonai
  • Doron Kopelman
  • Ahmad Assalia
Review Article


Primary palmar hyperhidrosis (HH) is a pathological condition of overperspiration caused by excessive secretion of the eccrine sweat glands, the etiology of which is unknown. This disorder affects a small but significant proportion of the young population all over the world. Neither systemic nor topical drugs have been found to satisfactorily alleviate the symptoms. Although the topical injection of botulinum has recently been reported to reduce the amount of local perspiration, long-term results are required before a definitive evaluation of this method can be made. Hypnosis, psychotherapy, and biofeedback have been beneficial in a limited-number of cases. While radiation achieves atrophy of the sweat glands, its detrimental effects prohibit its use. Iontophoresis has attained some satisfactory results but it has not been assessed long term. Percutaneous computed tomography-guided phenol sympathicolysis achieves excellent immediate results, but its long-term failure rate is prohibitive. Furthermore, percutaneous radiofrequency sympathicolysis may be an effective procedure, but its long-term results are not superior to surgical sympathectomy. On the other hand, surgical upper dorsal (T2-T3) sympathectomy achieves excellent long-term results and the thoracoscopic approach has supplanted the open procedures. Despite some sequelae, mainly in the form of neuralgia and compensatory sweating which cannot be predicted and may be distressing, surgical sympathectomy remains the best treatment for palmar hyperhidrosis.

Key Words

hyperhidrosis sympathectomy thoracoscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moshe Hashmonai
    • 1
  • Doron Kopelman
    • 1
  • Ahmad Assalia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery B, Rambam Medical Center and Faculty of MedicineTechnion — Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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