If you have been living with excessive sweating or focal hyperhidrosis for some time, chances are you may have or currently contemplating a surgical solution. Hopefully you have tried other options as surgery is recommended only as a last alternative treatment. You should also be aware of the potential drawbacks associated with surgery before you commit to this option. 
A recent study* in the UK followed up on a number of individuals having had surgery in efforts to rid themselves of their excessive sweating problem. The study involved 45 people (34 females) and the follow-up occured three and a half years after the surgical procedure. Twenty patients suffered with hyperhidrosis in a combination of regions, 14 in the axillae (underarms) alone, 9 palms alone and 2 with facial involvement. The good news is that almost 70% of individuals reported complete dryness or a significant improvement in their condition (i.e. not necessarily completly dry). Fifteen reported a substantial improvement in their quality of life.
The bad news is that a signifcant proportion, more than 9/10 people, developed compensatory sweating. More than half (27/43) had to change their their clothes more than once daily. The compensatory sweating was graded as severe in 18 of 43 individuals and 2 people rated their sweating as incapacitating. 
In a  few patients, 5/43, the compensatory sweating had improved over time. Here is the bottom line: 26/43 or 56% of the patients said that they would recommend surgery (thoracoscopic sympathectomy) to others with hyperhidrosis. If you are thinking about surgery, make sure you are well informed. Talk to health professionals and if possible to others who have had the procedure. Ask your surgeon about his/her experience with the procedure (e.g. how many procedures he/she has done, success rate, possible complications during and after the procedure etc.). Your surgeon should know the answers to all your questions. You want to be as informed as possible before you decide to have a surgical procedure.

* Currie AC et.al. Int J Surg, 2011;(9)5:437-9.
Tell others about your experience if you have had surgery....it would be great to hear from you! Click on the icon and fill in our seven multiple choice questions. Not too worry, answers are 100% anonymous. Once we have received a few we will share results!


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