How can surgery help control excessive sweating?

Michael G. Scheidler, MD
Pediatric Surgery
Surgical treatment for hyperhidrosis includes the removal of sweat glands, says Michael Scheidler, MD, with Sunrise Children's Hospital. Learn more in this video.
Surgery is usually used to treat primary hyperhidrosis, a condition of excessive sweating not caused by another medical condition or from a side effect of medications. There are various surgical procedures depending on the type of excessive sweating, but a common one is thoracoscopic sympathectomy, the removal of the sympathetic nerve pathways that lead to the sweat glands.
Around 90 percent of patients with excessive sweating of the hands are satisfied with the surgery, while 70-80 percent of axillary (underarms) and facial sweaters experience satisfaction. Surgery should not be considered as an option for, among others, patients who undergo long periods of time without sweating; patients who have truncal hyperhidrosis (sweating of the groin); or patients who experience nocturnal sweating (sweating during the night—these individuals should check for TB and Hodgkin’s).
Lyall A. Gorenstein, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
The goal of surgery for hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, is to eliminate the constant autonomic stimulation of the palmar sweat glands while maintaining other sympathetic nerve function, and minimizing trauma to the surrounding tissue. This is best accomplished by endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, also known as ETS. 

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