Hyperhidrosis Treatment

What is a Hyperhidrosis Treatment (Sympathectomy)?

Deep inside your chest, a structure called the sympathetic nerve chain runs up and down along your spine. It is the part of the nervous system responsible for the fight or flight response. During a sympathectomy, a surgeon cuts or clamps this nerve chain. This keeps nerve signals from passing through it.

Why might I need a sympathectomy?

This procedure is used to treat a condition called hyperhidrosis or abnormally heavy sweating in the palms of the hands, the face, the underarms, and sometimes the feet. It’s also used for facial blushing, some chronic pain conditions and Raynaud phenomenon — a condition that leads to profound sensitivity to cold temperatures and color changes of the skin. After a sympathectomy, the brain can’t send signals to the involved areas to make them sweat, blush, or react to the cold as much.

What happens during a sympathectomy?

Before the surgery, you will be given medicine (anesthesia) so you go to sleep. You won’t feel or remember the procedure. The surgeon will make 2 cm small incisions (cuts) on one side of your chest below your underarm. Next, your lung will be temporarily collapsed and moved aside to allow the surgeon to reach the nerve chain along your spine.

What happens after a sympathectomy?

After the operation your sweating will stop completely, you will be discharged 1 day later.