Foot sweating or as its known in the medical literature as plantar hyperhidrosis is also a part of the focal excessive sweating syndrome. It may not have the same social impact on the patient as hand sweating but can be very bothersome to people. Over the last few years when more follow-up on patients who had ETS done it became obvious that excessive foot sweating (plantar hyperhidrosis) can pose the same social and functional difficulties that patients have with excessive hand sweating. Stories like severe embarrassment from the smell, necessity to change shoes and socks constantly are being heard more often.
Now lumbar sympathectomy is offered as a surgical solution for those cases with severe plantar hyperhidrosis or plantar foot sweating. Recent evidence from different centers in the world showed that this operation is very effective to treat excessive foot sweating. This operation is done separately from the Thoracic Sympathectomy but necesitates an overnight stay. At present a good percentage of patients have the procedure done on an outpatient basis.
New Information on Lumbar Sympathectomy:
The operation is done endoscopically or in the open fashion. When it is done endoscopically then there are three small cuts made in each flank and obviously attempts should always be done to perform it this way. In cases of technical difficulties it can be done in an open fashion through one incision and the difference in the amount of pain is minimal. Also the cosmetic results from the open approach are very well accepted due to the fact that those single incisions on each side are still small.
One of the only doctors known to do this new approach in the U.S. is Dr. Reisfeld.
With regard to the male population so far the information that was obtained from clinical cases is that if the sympathectomy is done below L2 then retrograde ejaculation should not be a problem.
Sweaty feet as the sole presentation of hyperhidrosis appears in less than 5% of the patients. The majority of the patients will also have sweaty hands and this is the reason why it’s an added benefit when sympathectomy is done for the hands. As more time is gained more and more patients with only foot sweating (plantar) are coming for lumbar sympathectomy as their initial operation.
The Success Rates for Different Types of Procedures:
ETS is very successful for those suffering from focal palmar hyperhidrosis. With ETS those who also suffer from plantar hyperhidrosis (sweaty feet) the success rate is very low. For those patients with remaining plantar hyperhidrosis the lumbar sympathectomy is now offered with a great deal of success. This is also true for people who suffer from isolated plantar hyperhidrosis and never had ETS done.
Additional Foot Sweating Resources:
- Foot Sweating – Leading Los Angeles Surgeon Dr. Reisfeld and The Center for Hyperhidrosis. The only known doctor to perform both the ETS (hand sweating) and ELS (foot sweating) procedures.
- Foot Sweating Treatment – Learn about the surgical treatment for foot sweating.
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