This is the medical term given to describe the clinical situation in which the body produces more sweat than is needed. Hyperhidrosis can be generalized or focal. In the generalized form people are sweating all over their body not only in certain demands such as heat or exercise but also in normal situations. This generalized excessive sweating can be associated with certain illnesses such as hyper-thyroidism (Excessive activity of the thyroid gland). Febrile conditions and certain neoplastic diseases. In those situations the primary cause should be found and treated. Focal hyperhidrosis is marked by the excessive sweating in certain specific areas of the body such as face, armpits, hands and feet.
Severe Excessive Sweating
Severe cases of focal hyperhidrosis can be described by patients as embarrassing and responsible for causing functional and social problems. In those cases, the hands for example, are sweating to the level of dripping. Attempts to control those situations should start with conservative treatment modalities. If those measures do not bring any meaningful relief then the surgical approaches may be considered.
The surgical solutions should be considered for palmar hyperhidrosis (hand sweating), axillary hyperhidrosis (armpit sweating), and plantar hyperhidrosis (foot sweating). The most common and widely used approach for palmar hyperhidrosis is endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy. With this procedure there is a chance to eliminate palmar hyperhidrosis in about 99% of the cases.
Excessive Hand and Armpit Sweating
For patients who suffer from severe palmar hyperhidrosis (hand sweating) as well as axillary hyperhidrosis (armpit sweating) during the time of performing the ETS procedure for hand sweating adding one more level to the sympathectomy (ie clamping the sympathetic chain at level 5) can help reduce armpit sweating in 85% of the cases.
Excessive Foot Sweating
For those who had ETS done for their excessive hand sweating but did not get any improvement for their foot sweating then an effective treatment is now available called lumbar sympathectomy. This is a procedure very specific to foot sweating with a success rate of 98%. Learn more about lumbar sympathectomy.
Excessive facial sweating (cranio facial hyperhidrosis) and facial blushing were once treated through ETS but at present this particular treatment modality is not conducted by Dr. Reisfeld. Other surgeons around the world are also abandoning ETS as an effective solution for those suffering from facial hyperhidrosis and facial blushing.