Thoracic surgery is surgery within the chest cavity. Though thoracic surgery can include many procedures, the thoracic surgeons at La Peer specialize in treatments for hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by excessive sweating in the hands, armpits, and arms. The severity of the symptoms varies depending on the individual, and though hyperhidrosis isn’t dangerous, it can be socially embarrassing and incredibly damaging mentally. At La Peer Health Systems, our thoracic surgeons are some of the best in the country and will do everything possible to help patients overcome hyperhidrosis.


With over 50 doctors in over sixteen specialties, La Peer Health Systems is the premiere outpatient surgery center in the United States. Not only have our doctors been nationally recognized in magazines, peer-reviewed publications, and television shows, but they are committed to providing all of La Peer’s patients with safe and effective treatment.

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VIP-Specialty-awards-media-imageMeet the La Peer Thoracic Specialists

Ali Mahtabifard MD and Clark B. Fuller MD are the two thoracic specialists at the VIP Surgery Center of Excellence, a division of La Peer Health Systems. Both individuals are board-certified surgeons and are experts in dealing with hyperhidrosis. Another commonality between the two is their commitment to offering patients the highest quality care possible. At La Peer, Dr. Mahtabifard and Dr. Fuller have access to the newest technologies and state-of-the-art programs to complement their talent and ability.

In addition to being a thoracic surgeon at La Peer Health Systems, Dr. Mahtabifard is the Clinical Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and has co-edited and wrote multiple chapters in the Atlas of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery (VATS), a highly-regarded medical textbook that provides information to thoracic surgeons worldwide.

Thoracic Outlet Surgery

The thoracic outlet is located between the shoulder and neck, and contains nerves, veins, and arteries. When pressure is placed on this area, the resulting compression can negatively affect the structures located in the outlet, resulting in pain, muscle weakness, and and arm numbness. Thoracic outlet surgery is a procedure performed to reduce compression on the thoracic outlet.

In some cases, the pressure being placed on the thoracic outlet is due to a cervical rib being present above the first rib. This extra rib places extra pressure on the thoracic outlet, making it more likely for compression to occur. To help alleviate this extra pressure, our expert thoracic surgeons will perform minimally invasive first rib resection, a procedure that reshapes the rib to allow for a larger thoracic outlet.

During first rib resection surgery, patients are placed under anesthesia. After making small incisions, our surgeons will insert a small fiberoptic camera into the body. This camera transmits a live video feed to the operation room, providing surgeons with an extremely precise view of the operating area.

Thoracic Sympathectomy

A procedure performed by La Peer’s thoracic surgeons is thoracic sympathectomy, a procedure designed to reduce the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. A minimally invasive outpatient procedure, thoracic sympathectomy is highly technical and requires advanced knowledge and technique to perform, two aspects for which our thoracic surgeons are well-suited. La Peer’s thoracic surgeons are leading experts in their field, having edited the internationally renowned textbook entitled Atlas of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery. When performed by our doctors, thoracic surgery is an effective treatment method for dealing with hyperhidrosis. The procedure targets the core of the condition, a specific chain of nerves located in the chest cavity. When the activity of these nerves are reduced, patients experience a reduction in the severity of their symptoms, allowing them to lead lives free from the stress and embarrassment that accompanies hyperhidrosis.

For more information about thoracic surgery and thoracic sympathectomy, please visit the Hyperhidrosis Center of Excellence.

In addition to the above procedures, the thoracic surgeons at La Peer are able to treat the following conditions of the thoracic cavity:

  • Lung cancer
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Swallowing disorders 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there any risk of scars from thoracic sympathectomy?

A: Like with all surgeries that involve an incision, patients who undergo thoracic sympathectomy will be left with scars, though these scars are very minimal. Thanks to our excellent thoracic surgeons and the state-of-the-art technology that they employ, patients who receive surgery for their hyperhidrosis report feeling extremely satisfied by their results, and claim that their scars do not bother them at all.

Q: Why should I get thoracic surgery at La Peer instead of a hospital?

A: Aside from our expert surgeons and excellent staff, La Peer offers many benefits over a traditional hospital. Because we are an outpatient surgery center, all of our surgeries are scheduled prior to the surgical date, meaning that our patients experience an incredibly quick surgery with hardly any waiting time. In a normal hospital waiting room, patients may experience extended surgical delays as other people enter the emergency room. At La Peer, however, patients will go into surgery when they are scheduled, no waiting time necessary. In addition, La Peer’s infection rates are far lower than leading hospitals. If someone is sick on the day of the procedure, we simply reschedule the surgery to a more convenient time. By doing so, we provide our patients with a clean, healthy environment.

Schedule a Consultation with our Thoracic Specialists Today

If you suffer from the symptoms of hyperhidrosis ora compression of the thoracic outlet, Dr. Mahtabifard and Dr. Fuller would proud to help you. Our nationally-recognized and critically-acclaimed surgeons are experts in performing thoracic sympathectomy and procedures on the thoracic outlet, and would like to meet with you as soon as possible. If you are from out of-state or out-of-county, you may be interested in our VIP concierge service, which makes consultations and travel arrangements easier than ever before.

If you are tired of your overly-sweaty palms, please contact La Peer Health Services by calling 888.636.1890, or by completing our online contact form.

Next, read about head and neck surgery.