For Patients

Hyperhydrosis (Sweaty Hands Syndrome)

What is hyperhydrosis?

Hyperhydrosis is a condition whereby there is excess sweat production.  This can be generalised and involve the entire body, but more commonly is focal, involving the palms, soles of the feet, axillae and face.  While hyperhydrosis is not a life-threatening condition, it can impact significantly on a person’s social and occupational quality of life.

It is thought that focal hyperhydrosis is cause by dysfunction of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system.

Generalised hyperhydrosis can have a number of causes and can be investigated by your GP

You may have hyperhydrosis if you have had visible, excess sweating for more than 6 months and 2 or more of the following apply to you:

  • Bilateral symmetrical sweating
  • Impairment of daily activities
  • At least one episode per week
  • Onset before 25 years of age
  • Positive family history
  • Focal sweating that ceases during sleep

Treatment Options

The good news is that there are treatments for hyperhydrosis.

First line treatments do not involve surgery and can be initiated by your GP or dermatologist. 

These include:

  • Aluminium compounds
  • Iontophoresis
  • Botox
  • Medications

Your GP will be able to provide you with further information regarding these treatments and arrange referral if needed.

When the treatments listed above are not working, there is the option of surgery.  There are 3 types of surgery that may be considered for hyperhidrosis

  • Axillary excision
  • Axillary liposuction
  • Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS)

At the Vascular Care Centre we offer ETS for the treatment of hyperhydrosis

ETS is a key hole procedure performed under general anaesthetic.  Two small incisions are made between the ribs and a camera is used to enable the surgeon to interrupt the bundle of nerves known as the sympathetic chain.  These nerves control the sweating reflex.

Following this procedure, you can expect to stay overnight in hospital and be off work for approximately 1 week.

As with any surgical procedure there are risks and benefits that need to be considered on a case by case basis. To discuss this procedure further and decide whether it is right for you, please contact our rooms. 

Our specialist doctors are dedicated to providing effective treatment for venous or arterial conditions and giving you back your confidence and wellbeing.