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Dermatology Online Journal

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Effective local anesthesia for onabotulinumtoxin A injections to treat hyperhidrosis associated with traumatic amputation


Background: Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) injections are an effective treatment for controlling hyperhidrosis at sites of amputation. Hyperesthesia associated with amputated limbs is a major barrier to performing this procedure under local anesthesia.

Objective: To present a novel method for improving local anesthesia with BTX-A injections.

Methods & Results: A 29-year-old military veteran with a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg was suffering from amputation site hyperhidrosis, which was impeding his ability to comfortably wear a prosthesis. Prior to presenting to our clinic, the patient received one treatment of BTX-A injections to his amputation stump while under general anesthesia for surgical repair of trauma-related injuries. In our dermatology clinic, we repeated the procedure using topical lidocaine-prilocaine (30 gm total) for local anesthesia. This provided effective relief of hyperhidrosis for 6 months, but the procedure was very painful (9/10 intensity). We repeated the same procedure 6 months later, using ice in addition to topical lidocaine-prilocaine (30 gm) for local anesthesia; this resulted in reduced pain (3/10 intensity) for the patient.

Conclusions: We suggest using ice in combination with a topical anesthetic as an effective method for pain control that avoids general anesthesia in treating amputation-associated hyperhidrosis.


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