Treatment of Hyperhidrosis, "Sweaty Palms"

Treatment of Hyperhidrosis (Sweaty Palms): Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy

Sweaty palms, known medically as palmer hyperhidrosis, or excessive hand sweating, is the most common presentation of hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for perspiration that is greater than that needed to maintain normal body temperature.

Sweaty palms occur when the body's thermostat stays elevated. To get rid of the resulting excess heat, sweat drips from hands, feet, underarms, or forehead. Sympathetic nerves control sweat; so when these nerves are clipped or divided, the sweating stops.

Treatment at Baptist

At Baptist, physicians perform a minimally invasive procedure called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy to help treat sweaty palms. The thoracic sympathectomy is performed endoscopically. The surgeon makes two 5 mm incisions at the bottom of the armpit. The lung is permitted to fall away from the inside of the rib cage and a fiberoptic scope with a camera is inserted into the chest cavity. The lung is pushed aside, and the sympathetic chain identified. The camera provides magnification, so structures appear larger and in greater detail than they would to the naked eye. Utilizing a cautery device, the sympathetic nerve branches of the sympathetic chain are cut. The incisions are closed and an identical operation is performed on the other side.

The procedure achieves the same results as an open operation but without the long hospital stays, severe pain, and excessive scarring. The success rate for this type of procedure is typically about 98%.

At Baptist, thoracic surgeon Michael Koury, MD, performs this procedure.

Watch his video profile
Learn more about Thoracic Surgery at Baptist

Your Treatment at Baptist

If you would like to be treated for hyperhidrosis at Baptist, the first step is being seen by one of our physicians. To request a referral to a physician at Baptist, call the Baptist Health Line at 601-948-6262 or 1-800-948-6262. Or, you can request this referral using our online form.

Request a physician referral online.

If you still have questions about hyperhidrosis and how it is treated at Baptist, please call our Health Line. Nurses and other professionals there can help you decide your next steps. Call 601-948-6262 or 1-800-948-6262. Or, use the Contact Us link to send us your question. Health Line hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You may also be interested in our podcast:

  • Hope for Sweaty Palms - Successful Treatmens for Hyperhidrosis (13:04), featuring Michael Koury, MD. Listen to it in the player on this page.
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