UW ETS Sympathectomy Program Results

Contact Information
(608) 263-7502
(608) 265-0499
Related Conditions
At the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, we have been performing the ETS sympathectomy procedure since 1997, and we have performed dozens of micro-invasive endoscopic thoracic sympathectomies since 2001.
Most of our patients tolerate the procedure very well and have little discomfort after surgery. We make only two incisions on each side of the chest when many other centers make three.
Our patients report excellent satisfaction. Nearly 100 percent are free of hyperhidrosis symptoms after surgery. None of our patients have required a second operation. Side effects, though minimal, may include:
  • Compensatory Sweating

    Approximately 40 to 50 percent of patients experience mild increased sweating in other parts of the body, such as the chest, back or abdomen. In some patients, this is temporary, but in others, it may be permanent.

    During the operation, we remove, rather than seal, the sympathetic nerve chain. This may decrease the risk of compensatory hyperhidrosis.
  • Horner's Syndrome

    Horner's Syndrome is a rare side effect that may occur if a nerve pathway is accidentally damaged during surgery. Symptoms include decreased sweating on the face, drooping of the eyelid, and a constricted pupil. In the unlikely event this happens, a plastic surgeon can correct the eyelid droop.

    To date, none of our patients have developed Horner's Syndrome.

Safety and Training


Our surgeons have extensive training and comprehensive experience with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. We are dedicated to patient safety and minimally invasive techniques. This dedication is reflected in our outstanding success rates.