Known medically as palmar hyperhidrosis is the most common form of localized excessive sweating. It's intensity can vary among people. The intensity of excessive hand sweating can vary from just moisture on the hands to literally dripping wet. Obviously the extreme cases are very troublesome and can prevent those patients from performing simple daily tasks. It does have a genetic relation and about 50% of the patients have a family history with the condition. Recently the exact genetic location was found but a practical treatment with these new findings is still a long ways off. It can affect a person on a functional, emotional, and social level.
This condition is primarily a physiological issue but it can be aggravated by emotional stimuli. By physiological we mean that the person cannot control the level of sweating or timing of it. Attempts to control this condition are numerous and they range from lotions, pills, herbal medications, bio feedback, electric currents (iontophoresis), acupuncture, to surgery (See Navigation Bar On The Left). It should be emphasized that patients who suffer from severe excessive hand sweating should try at least some of the conservative approaches before any decision is made to go ahead with surgery. The information obtained on this website should be read carefully because a good portion of the medical community is not aware of the available new methods to treat this problem. Many physicians lack the information needed to provide their patients with the different options.
Excessive Hand Sweating Surgical Solution
In the past surgery meant a very extensive and invasive approach to get to the sympathetic nervous system located in the chest cavity. This particular fact prevented the operation to be done on a large scale. The improvements in the surgical approach (endoscopic surgery) and the surge of information available on the Internet have made it easier for patients to know, learn, and receive surgical treatment. Surgical intervention is the only known method that can provide long-term relief of excessive hand sweating.
It is common now a days that the endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is performed on a outpatient basis which means the operation is carried out in a relatively short period of time and the patient can go home or to their hotel a few hours later. Also the amount of pain and discomfort is limited. Most of the patients can go back to their normal life (work, school, etc) within a very short time.
With this procedure the surgeon enters the thoracic cavity on the left and right side of the chest, then locates the sympathetic nerve chain and disrupts the chain at a very specific location. The disruption can be made by cutting the nerve, excising a piece of the nerve, or clamping. All methods are equally effective. Success rates range from 98 to 99%. There are some side effects from this operation, and the main one is compensatory sweating. To learn more see our side effects of surgery section.
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