Always Sweating!

Q. My hands are constantly “wet” with sweat. This is embarrassing to me. Can anything be done for it?

A. Sweating is a function that helps the body to maintain normal temperature. However, when a person suffers from excessive sweating, causing perspiration to literally drip from his or her hands, underarms, or feet, it is a condition called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis occurs when the sympathetic nerves that control sweating become hyperactive.

Treatments with powders, medications, and even Botox injections are available but have a limited success rate. Until recently, the only real cure was an invasive surgery in which a large incision was made in the chest. Now, through a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, people can find a permanent solution to hyperhidrosis.

The procedure, which is called an endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, or ETS, utilizes an endoscope placed through very small incisions in each armpit to access and clip the sympathetic nerves. The surgery takes approximately one hour, with immediate results and minimal risks. It can make a huge difference in a person’s quality of life, allowing them to participate fully in everyday activities and enhances their comfort in social settings.

Dr. J. Robert Headrick, Jr.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

2108 East Third St., STE 300

Chattanooga, TN