Sweat is the body’s way of cooling you down. Hyperhidrosis is a condition of extreme sweating. You may sweat so much that you drench your clothes or find that you are suddenly dripping for no reason.
Hyperhidrosis can have a considerable impact on your daily life. The surgery team at Cedars-Sinai can offer a cure.
What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis does not mean you have extra sweat glands. The problem is that the nerves that control your sweat glands are sensitive and overactive. Your nerves are signaling your body to cool you down, whether or not you need to.
Experts aren't entirely sure what causes hyperhidrosis, though genetics may play a role. You may also be at risk of developing hyperhidrosis as a result of specific conditions like diabetes, thyroid problems, heart conditions, infections or cancer.
Symptoms of hyperhidrosis include extreme sweating of the hands, face, underarms or feet.
Our team will first conduct a physical exam and ask you about your symptoms. We will likely perform other tests, including a blood and urine test. We also use a specialized sweat test to help determine if the amount of sweat your body produces falls within typical limits.
Hyperhidrosis Treatment at Cedars-Sinai
Traditionally, medical experts treated hyperhidrosis with nonsurgical methods like antiperspirant, muscle relaxing injections and medication. However, these treatments offer only temporary relief from symptoms.
At Cedars-Sinai, we have decades of experience treating hyperhidrosis with surgery. Our specialists use minimally invasive surgery (video-assisted thoracic sympathectomy) to give you permanent relief from excessive sweating.
What to Expect During Hyperhidrosis Surgery
We perform the procedure while you are under general anesthesia, so your surgery is pain-free. During the procedure, we use a small endoscope and harmonic blade to remove a portion of the overactive nerve. This sophisticated blade vibrates at high frequencies and generates no heat, which protects nearby nerves.
You are free to return home the same day, with dry hands. For more information about hyperhidrosis surgery, read our hyperhidrosis FAQ.
Benefits of Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery for Hyperhidrosis
Surgery provides lasting relief from excessive sweating.
Our team uses video-assisted thoracic sympathectomy to remove the overactive part of the nerve. Our method of treating hyperhidrosis offers:
- Minimally invasive incisions, smaller than three millimeters (compared to 10)
- Better visualization of the nerves for a more precise surgery
- Less postoperative pain
- Shorter recovery period
- Almost no complications