• Vol. 28 No. 2, 282–283
  • 15 March 1999

Extensor Pollicis Longus Paralysis Following Thoracoscopic Sympathectomy



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Thoracoscopic sympathectomy is an acceptable form of treatment for palmar hyperhidrosis. Many authors have reported favourable results. Complications range from pneumo-haemothorax, Horner’s syndrome, compensatory hyperhidrosis and bleeding. Plas et al reported 2.7% of the procedures had complications requiring intervention and 9.7% had non-interventive complications. There have been isolated reports of other rare complications including false aneurysm of intercostal artery, inferior brachial plexus injury and abnormal suntanning.

We report an unusual case of isolated extensor pollicis longus paralysis after a thoracoscopic sympathectomy for palmar hyperhidrosis, in a fit young male. Such complications have not been previously reported. We recognise that such isolated nerve injury is uncommon.

A 24-year-old man was referred for hyperhidrosis of more than 15 years duration. It affected both hands, feet and axilla.

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