Excessive sweating can be triggered by many things including side effects from medication therapy. The St. Vincent Heart Center provides hyperhidrosis treatments for heart and vascular patients. These specialists also treat primary focal hyperhidrosis, which typically starts in childhood and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis caused by medical conditions. The secondary type generally starts in adulthood and sweating occurs all over the body, not just in one area, even while sleeping.
Whether you have primary hyperhidrosis or excessive and unpredictable sweating, you may feel uncomfortable and even embarrassed. It can affect your hands, face, feet, underarms, thighs and other areas of the body, making daily tasks like holding a pen or shaking hands difficult. St. Vincent has pioneered a permanent, surgical treatment option that offers hope and healing.
Hyperhidrosis only affects 1 percent of the population and it is usually hereditary. When you see a St. Vincent thoracic surgeon we first want to understand how extensively your hyperhidrosis symptoms affect your life. Then we will rule out other causes of your symptoms, such as medications or hormonal fluctuations.
If you’ve tried common treatments, such as oral or topical medications and Botox injections, you may have experienced little to no relief. Surgical options have always required significant recovery periods as well as pain and scarring. However, a St. Vincent innovation offers new hope.
Dr. Richard Freeman, Director of Thoracic Surgery at St. Vincent Heart Center, has pioneered a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that provides a lifelong cure for hyperhidrosis. During video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) we make two, 5 mm incisions on either side of the chest: one for a tiny camera and another for a cauterizing device. We then “burn” the nerve endings that are causing your excessive sweating. You will need general anesthesia for the procedure, but most patients go home the same day.