Hyperhidrosis, aka excessive sweating, is a common problem that may have physical, emotional and psychological consequences. It affects an estimated 15.3 million people in the United States, according to the Archives of Dermatological Research. Fortunately, many hyperhidrosis treatment options are available to help people put excessive sweating in the past.
How Is Hyperhidrosis Treated?
Surgery is one of the most common hyperhidrosis treatments. It often provides an effective way to address hyperhidrosis of the hands and feet. Plus, hyperhidrosis surgery offers permanent results.
Several hyperhidrosis surgeries have been shown to deliver safe, long-lasting results. These procedures include:
- Excision: Addresses malfunctioning underarm sweat glands. Excision involves the removal of underarm sweat glands under local anesthesia. It is performed as an outpatient procedure.
- Curettage: Involves scraping out malfunctioning sweat glands. Like excision, curettage is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia.
- Liposuction: Liquefies sweat glands and removes them from the underarms. Liposuction also enables a patient to eliminate excess fat from the body. It is typically performed as an inpatient procedure.
- Thoracic Sympathectomy: Blocks chest cavity nerves that cause excess sweating. Thoracic sympathectomy is used to treat severe hyperhidrosis. It is a minimally invasive surgery performed at an outpatient clinic.
A thoracic surgeon helps a patient determine if surgery is the best option to treat hyperhidrosis. Then, he or she educates a patient about the different hyperhidrosis procedures and develops a custom treatment plan that enables this individual to alleviate excessive sweating.
Which Hyperhidrosis Treatment Delivers the Best Results?
There is no one-size-fits-all hyperhidrosis treatment that works perfectly for all patients, at all times. Instead, a thoracic surgeon evaluates a patient, learns about this individual’s hyperhidrosis symptoms and tailors a treatment plan accordingly.
During a hyperhidrosis treatment evaluation, a thoracic surgeon asks a patient questions about his or her symptoms. A surgeon allocates the necessary time and resources to learn about a patient and conducts a full patient assessment. He or she may also request various tests to evaluate a patient and provide an accurate diagnosis.
A thoracic surgeon strives to provide a hyperhidrosis treatment to address excessive sweating in different parts of the body. The treatment may address one or more of the following areas:
For those who are dealing with hyperhidrosis, a thoracic surgeon may recommend an excision, curettage or liposuction treatment. Each of these treatments delivers proven results and helps patients address hyperhidrosis symptoms for years to come.
On the other hand, patients who are dealing with severe hyperhidrosis may require thoracic sympathectomy. During this procedure, a thoracic surgeon makes two small incisions on the sides of a patient’s chest. The surgeon then insufflates the chest cavity with carbon dioxide and inserts a fiber optic camera into the chest; the fiber optic camera provides live video onto a monitor in the operating room. Next, the surgeon cuts the sympathetic nerves that cause excessive sweating; these nerves are cut between the third and fourth ribs. Finally, the surgeon removes the carbon dioxide and fiber optic camera from the patient’s chest and closes the incisions.
Thoracic sympathectomy is virtually painless and requires minimal recovery time. Most patients can return home the same day as treatment and return to everyday activities and work within about one week, though patients may need to wait three to four weeks before they participate in strenuous activity or exercise.
The results of thoracic sympathectomy are immediate. In rare instances, patients experience sweating in other parts of the body previously unaffected by hyperhidrosis, including the abdomen, back and legs. This compensatory sweating is usually less severe than past hyperhidrosis symptoms.
Is Hyperhidrosis Surgery a Viable Option?
Hyperhidrosis surgery is an excellent option for those who are dealing with excessive sweating and find that Botox, medications and other treatments fail to deliver the desired results. It has been shown to help patients address several types of hyperhidrosis, including:
- Palmar Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating of the palms. Palmar hyperhidrosis is the most common form of hyperhidrosis, and thoracic sympathectomy has a 90% success rate for treating patients who struggle with this form of hyperhidrosis.
- Axillary Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating of the feet. Axillary hyperhidrosis may cause chronic foot odor and fungal infections.
- Facial Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating of the head. Facial hyperhidrosis may cause blushing of the face, along with compensatory sweating in the abdomen and lower limbs.
- Groin Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating in the groin area. Groin hyperhidrosis is uncomfortable and may cause fungal infections.
For those who are considering hyperhidrosis treatment, it is important to meet with an expert thoracic surgeon. That way, a patient can receive a full evaluation and determine the best way to permanently treat his or her excessive sweating.
What to Expect During a Hyperhidrosis Treatment Consultation
A thoracic surgeon strives to make a hyperhidrosis treatment consultation a comfortable experience. At this time, a surgeon asks a patient about his or her medical history and hyperhidrosis symptoms. Also, the surgeon may request a physical exam.
Additionally, a thoracic surgeon may request lab and sweat tests during a patient consultation. Blood, urine and other lab tests enable a surgeon to find out if a patient’s excessive sweating is caused by an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or another medical condition. Comparatively, sweat tests allow a surgeon to pinpoint the areas of sweating and evaluate the severity of a patient’s symptoms.
A hyperhidrosis treatment consultation provides a valuable learning opportunity for a patient, too. During the consultation, a patient can ask hyperhidrosis treatment questions and receive instant responses. As such, a thoracic surgeon and patient can work together to achieve the best-possible treatment results.
Once a thoracic surgeon and patient develop a treatment plan, they will put this plan into action. A surgeon will provide tips to help a patient prepare for treatment. Best of all, a patient can always reach out to his or her surgeon for support throughout the treatment process.
Choose La Peer Health Systems for Hyperhidrosis Treatment
La Peer Health Systems is proud to employ some of the top thoracic surgeons in Los Angeles. Our team works diligently to provide each hyperhidrosis patient with a personalized treatment tailored to his or her symptoms. To find out more about our hyperhidrosis treatment options, please call us today at 855-360-9119 to schedule a consultation. Or, check out our hyperhidrosis treatment group on Facebook.