Objective The objective of the present study was to determine the long-term fate and factors of compensatory hyperhidrosis (CH) in patients who have undergone video-assisted thoracoscopic sympathotomy for focal hyperhidrosis. Methods The same quality-of-life survey was administered 6 months postoperatively and then annually to all patients who underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic sympathotomy for hyperhidrosis. A second rib (R2)/R3 sympathotomy was most commonly performed until September 2007 and then R4/R5 sympathotomy was used. Results From January 1999 until December 2012, 193 patients underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic sympathotomy for hyperhidrosis, of whom, 173 had provided ≥1 year of postoperative survey information. No operative mortalities occurred. Of the 173 patients, 133 (77%) reported "clinically bothersome" CH. This rate had decreased to an average of 35% at 5 and 12 years postoperatively. Univariate analysis showed the CH incidence was significantly greater for the patients who had undergone R2/R3 versus R4/R5 sympathotomy (P <.001), had had multiple sites of sweating at presentation (P <.001), had used oral medication to control hyperhidrosis preoperatively (P =.022), or were female (P =.002). On multivariate analysis, only R2/R3 versus R4/R5 sympathotomy (P <.021) and multiple sites of sweating at presentation (P <.037) remained statistically significant. Twelve patients (6.2%) regretted having the operation for CH. Conclusions Patients who undergo sympathotomy for hyperhidrosis will commonly report "clinically bothersome" compensatory hyperhidrosis. CH will more likely if R2/R3 sympathetic interruption has been performed instead of R4/R5 and in patients who present with multiple areas of sweating. The severity of clinically bothersome CH decreased during the first 3 years postoperatively.