Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it better for me to have surgery with a thoracic surgeon?

A general surgeon has five to six years of training before he takes a board examination. A thoracic surgeon, on the other hand, has two to three additional years of training after he finishes his general surgical training (total training = 7~9 years). A thoracic surgeon must pass a general surgery board examination before he can take the thoracic surgery board examination. Whereas a general surgeon’s practice is primarily focused on the abdomen, a thoracic surgeon specializes in the care of problems inside the chest.

Does thoracoscopic sympathectomy procedure stop sweating under my arms and feet?

This procedure is used to cure sweaty palms only. There are cases where patients have noticed reduced or complete cessation of sweating in the armpits and/or feet as a side-effect of this procedure. Please contact our office for more details.

Is this surgery reversible?

If the nerve is removed, cut, or burned by the way of endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy (ETS), the surgical procedure is irreversible. If the nerve is clipped, on the other hand, the surgical procedure may be reversible.

What is the difference between ETS and Thoracoscopic Sympathetic Nerve Clipping (TSNC)?

With ETS the nerve is burned by electro-cautery and the result typically is irreversible. By contrast, the sympathetic nerve permanently clamp with TSNC. This method utilizes a metallic or plastic clip that is clamped on the sympathetic nerve to block nerve transmission. The metallic or plastic clip can be removed at the request of the patient, and if done early enough, the effects of surgery may be reversed.

What kind of anesthesia will I receive during surgery?

You will be under general anesthesia. In other words, you will be asleep during the surgery.

Are there risks involved with thoracoscopic sympathectomy surgery?

Yes. As with any surgery, there is always the possibility of bleeding and infection. The risks will be discussed with you at great length during your first consultation.

Am I a good candidate for the procedure?

You are a good candidate for the procedure if you are in good health, and have had no previous lung surgery. Because thoracoscopic sympathectomy is a major operation, you should weigh the benefits of the operation against potential complications and side effects.

Are there any reasons I should not have this surgery?

Yes. If you have severe cardio pulmonary insufficiency, severe lung diseases (TB, Pleuritis, Emphysema), or Untreated hyperthyroidism, this surgery should not be performed.

When can I resume regular activities?

The thoracoscopic sympathectomy procedure allows rapid recovery. Most patients return to full activity within a week following the surgery. Scarring is minimal since the incisions to the armpits are small.

Is this procedure covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies will pay for this procedure. However, it is important that one of our representatives check your insurance for coverage prior to having a consultation. We will notify you about what your insurance covers. You may send in a Patient Questionnaire with your insurance information, or you can call us with the information.

What information will I need if I contact my insurance company on my own?

Diagnosis: Hyperhidrosis (ICD-9 Code 780.8)
Procedure: Thoracoscopic Sympathectomy (CPT Code 32664-Bilateral).

What do I do if I do not have insurance?

Please contact the Center For The Cure Of Sweaty Palms™ at (800) 361-4403 to discuss payment plans. We accept cash and credit cards. Payments for surgeon, X-ray, and laboratory services are separate from payment to the center.

How is The Center For The Cure Of Sweaty Palms™ different from a hospital?

A hospital is staffed to treat all types of medical problems and provides a much broader range of services. The Center For The Cure Of Sweaty Palms™ is designed exclusively for outpatient and thoracoscopic surgery with recovery care. Our staff offers our patients a convenient, comfortable and generally less costly alternative to the hospital.

The Center For The Cure Of Sweaty Palms™ is similar to the hospital in three aspects:

  1. Dr. Baumgartner is supported by a highly skilled team trained in outpatient and thoracoscopic sympathectomy
    surgery and recovery care.
  2. Our surgical suites and facility are equipped with the most advanced equipment.
  3. The standards of care required by Medicare and surgical facility governing bodies are strictly enforced.