San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio physicians, Dr. David Nielson and Dr. Donald Hilton, combined resources to perform a revolutionary new sympathectomy procedure never done before in the United States and possibly the world.
Dr. David Nielson, re-known cardio-thoracic surgeon and Dr. Donald Hilton, a well-known neurosurgeon collaborated on the yet unnamed procedure using Nielson’s Micro Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy technique (Micro ETS) and Hilton’s minimally invasive microdiscectomy, to help reduce hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating of the hands, face, underarms and feet.
The patient who had pleurodisis, due to a previous procedure, was not a candidate for the relatively simple Micro ETS procedure. Pleurodisis is adhesion of the lung to the chest wall making it impossible to undergo Nielson’s procedure.
The new sympathetic procedure uses the dorsal approach with a 1/2-inch incision. A dilator, specialized tubing used in Hilton’s microsurgery, is then inserted into the incision allowing the surgeon to remove the tip of the rib head, locate and sever the sympathetic nerve to instantly reduce excessive sweating. The patient was able to leave the hospital that afternoon with successful results.
Previously, a dorsal sympathectomy included a 5-inch incision, removal of the rib and a stay in the ICU as well as quite a bit of pain during the recovery period.
Hilton and Nielson were ecstatic at their new discovery.
“It was extremely gratifying to see a patient with lung adhesion be able to go through a sympathectomy with a minimally invasive procedure,” Nielson said. “This has never been done before.”
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