Hand Sweating - Sweaty Palms - Sweaty Hands Treatment

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.

Procedure Details
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.

Additional Hand Sweating Resources:

Hyperhidrosis Treatments



I've had sweaty palms since I was a teenager. I'm now in my early 20's. Will this condition eventually go away?

Basically the answer is no. As everyone knows medicine is not a science and possibilities can arise in ones life that can help with the possibility of reducing the amount of sweating. Usually it doesn't happen but every patient should try some of the conservative measures available before any decision to proceed with the surgical option is made.

Has this procedure for hand sweating been fully proven or is it still considered experimental?

Sympathectomy is an operation designed for patients with excessive palmar hyperhidrosis has been a reality for about 70 years. Whereas in the past sympathectomy was done in a very aggressive /invasive fashion such as through the back, through the chest or through the neck. The final target was achieved through those means. In the last quarter century, since the endoscopic approach was developed and improved sympathectomy nowadays is done via ETS (endoscopic sympathectomy). With this method the same objective is achieved through very small incisions, the chest wall, can be performed on an outpatient patient basis and patients can resume their normal activity within a short time (1-2 days). The cosmetic results are superb and the success rate to obtain dry hands is about 98-99%. So to answer your question it is not experimental.

If I go through with the surgery now, what can I expect 20 years from now? Is the procedure a permanent cure? Thanks!

The success rate of the ETS procedure to eliminate hand sweating is around 98-99%. As with any other elective operation to help with a physiological / genetic pathology there is always a possibility of recurrence. The recurrence can be a full blown return to the previous state or to a more mild form of sweaty hands. The recurrence rate quoted in the literature is about 1-2% of cases which is a good statistical result. The recurrence can happen at any time and there is no idea why it happens. The recurrence rate is similar to any approach used to perform the ETS procedure. The belief is that recurrence happens creation of new nerve pathways within the spinal cord which is an area that is not amenable for surgical correction. Redo operations are still available and knowledge of what was done in the first operation is paramount.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.