The latest advances in surgery can help treat hyperhidrosis (excess sweating) permanently. The surgery involves excising the sympathetic ganglia (T1-T4). A survey shows that thoracoscopic sympathectomy to be the best procedure in the treatment of sweating. It produces immediate results and improves the quality of one's life. There many variations for thoracic sympathectomy and it is considered the gold standard in the treatment of this awful condition.
Advances in surgery have allowed for this procedure to be done through 1 cm holes in the chest. The recovery is rapid and sweating stops the next day. The day after surgery, the majority of individual report no more sweating. After 3 years about 10-15% of patients do report some recurrence of sweating but this is tolerable. The individuals claim a significant improvement in life and no social embarrassment.
Surgery complications include:
- compensatory sweating (induction of sweating in previously unaffected areas of the body),
- gustatory sweating (sweating during eating)
- pneumothorax (air in the chest cavity)
- intercostal neuralgia (pain on the chest wall)
- Horner syndrome (sagging of the eye lid)
- Recurrence of hyperhidrosis.
Other Surgery techniques have also been developed but include destruction of the sweat glands. The results over a long time are unknown.
Subcutaneous liposuction is another method of removing the sweat glands responsible for axillary sweating. Compared with classic surgical excision, this modality results in less disruption to the overlying skin, resulting in smaller surgical scars and a diminished area of hair loss.
Alternatives to surgery
Some individual are not keen to undergo surgery and seek other ways to cure their sweating problem. Over the past 4 decades, numerous other methods have been developed to help treat sweating. While these are not main stream conventional medical therapies, they are available for those who are not keen for surgery. The methods include acupuncture, anti-anxiety medications, beta blockers, chelation therapy, purging of the colon with water, biofeedback, and herbal medicines. So far there is not an iota of evidence that any of these work at all. The only thing that these therapies decrease is the money in your pocket.
The gold standard for treating sweating is surgery and currently it is recommended as the first choice therapy. By being informed and seeing a reputable physician, the individual can save himself a lot of money and aggravation by avoiding all the nonsensical and quack methods.