Permanent Solution to sweaty palms

Sweaty palms / armpits (palmar or axillary hyperhidrosis) is a very common medical condition which affects at least 1% of our populations. The cause of this excessive sweating of palms and/or armpits is believed to be due to hyperactive and malfunctioned sympathetic nerve located within our chest cavity. Instead of the common belief that emotional stresses being the cause of excessive sweating, it is actually the other way round in these patients. It’s the uncontrolled severe sweating that ultimately leads to intense emotional stresses in these sufferers.

The main problem faced by this group of patient is the severe social embarrassment when hand shaking is a gesture of polite interaction in the society. Sometimes, it also grossly and adversely affects the daily activities like writing and the performance of the occupation such as interior designing, computer or electronic related works.

Although there are many treatment options available in the market, the only method that truly provides a permanent cure is surgical ablation of the part of sympathetic nerve that supplies the sweat glands of the palms and armpits.

Thoracic surgeons who are most familiar with the chest anatomy perform this form of surgery routinely. This surgery is carried out under a short period of general anesthesia. Via two 5mm cuts underneath each armpit, a camera scope is inserted into the chest cavity and the specific level of sympathetic nerve will then be ablated. The surgery typically takes about 20-25 minutes and the patient will be discharged home within 12-24 hours. The effect of the surgery is immediately and the scar is barely visible.

However, this surgery is not without its complications. In 30-40% of the patients, they will experience compensatory sweating elsewhere in the body, especially the back. Despite that, they find it much more tolerable than to have a sweaty palms or armpits.

Under a trained thoracic surgeon, the risk of operation is minimal. So far, all my patients are satisfied with the outcomes of having a normal hands or armpits again. They regained their confidence in life and reported this as a “life-changing” event.