The palms of my hands sweat excessively. What is the medical diagnosis
for sweaty palms?
A: The medical diagnosis for sweaty
palms is "Essential Palmar Hyperhidrosis."
How do you describe Essential Palmar Hyperhidrosis?
A: It is a condition of sweating in
the palms of the hands that is in excess of that required for temperature
regulation or psychological response.
What causes Essential Palmar Hyperhidrosis?
A: Its cause is unknown.
What medical (non-surgical) treatments are available to treat Essential
A: Many patients have tried Drysol
(a topical, liquid antiperspirant type product) and iontophoresis (electrical
current applied to a solution in which the hands are placed) with minimal
success. Some centers are now attempting to treat this condition with
Botulinum A Neurotoxin injections (treatment requiring injections of a
toxic neurotoxin into the hands every 7 to 12 months).
What is the name of the surgical procedure that is performed to treat
Essential Palmar Hyperhidrosis?
A: Bilateral Endoscopic Transthoracic
Are there any risks involved in having a sympathectomy to treat Essential
Yes. As with any surgery, there are risks of bleeding and infection.
Additional risks of this procedure include:
- A residue of air remaining in the chest with incomplete re-expansion
of the lung (<1% occurrence)
failure - May occur in a patient with lung disease making access to
the nerve difficult or impossible. (<1% occurrence)
Syndrome - The complication that leads to drooping of one or both
eyelids. In many cases, this problem goes away over a period of one
to three months, however, it can be permanent. (1% occurrence)
Are there any side effects from the surgical procedure?
A: Side effects may include compensatory
sweating (new sweating that begins following surgery on other parts of
the body such as the thighs, back, abdomen or face). It is usually mild
to moderate and is well tolerated. It often has a tendency to decrease
within the first 6 to 12 months following surgery. There is no treatment
for compensatory sweating.
Will this surgery also stop the sweating under my arms and on the soles
of my feet?
A: This surgery is for the treatment
of Palmar Hyperhidrosis only. In many cases, patients note that they experience
a decreased and axillary sweating on their feet and under their arms following
this surgery. However, this surgery is performed to stop sweating on the
hands and armpits; improvement in symptoms in other parts of the body
is considered a bonus.
Is this surgery reversible?
What type of surgeon performs the sympathectomy?
A: At Roosevelt Medical Center, a
team of 2 surgeons performs the procedure.
What should I do in the event I have additional questions?
A: Call the office to arrange for
a consultation appointment with the surgeon. Your surgeon will discuss
the risks, side effects and details of the surgery with you at an office
consultation prior to surgery. Click here to obtain names, addresses and
phone numbers of the surgeons who surgically treat essential palmar hyperhidrosis.
Are there any contraindications for this surgery?
A: YES. Patients with the following
conditions should not have a sympathectomy:
cardio-circulatory or pulmonary insufficiency
pleural (lung) diseases (TB, pleuritis, emphysema)