Hyperhidrosis Surgery

Hyperhidrosis surgery: treatment for excessive sweating.

Hyperhidrosis surgery is one of several options for treating excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that may affect the entire body but is typically found in the palms, soles, groin, and or armpits. The condition is often benign, although it sometimes causes significant social distress. 

Hyperhidrosis can be a sign of a more serious medical disorder, including thyroid problems, low blood sugar or a disorder of the nervous system. Patients may be prescribed oral, topical, or non-surgical treatments for hyperhidrosis. Surgery is sometimes required as well.

Thoracic surgeon James S. Allan, MD, is an expert in hyperhidrosis treatment. He holds joint appointments at NSMC and Massachusetts General Hospital. North Shore patients of Dr. Allan may receive treatment close to home at his Salem campus office, or they may choose to see him in Boston. His Salem number is 978.745.1581.

Hyperhidrosis surgery at NSMC

Patients who come to NSMC for hyperhidrosis surgery are treated by thoracic surgery specialists. Thoracic surgeons diagnose and treat a variety of cancers and benign disorders of the lungs, esophagus, chest wall, diaphragm, trachea and mediastinum.

Hyperhidrosis surgery may include removal or destruction of a sweat gland using a variety of methods.

Additional hyperhidrosis surgery options include a thoracoscopic sympathectomy, in which a portion of the sympathetic nerve in the thoracic region is destroyed.

Hyperhidrosis surgery may also include a lumbar sympathectomy, a newer procedure for excessive sweating in the feet.

Treatment to avoid hyperhidrosis surgery.

In addition to hyperhidrosis surgery, physicians at NSMC offer a variety of approaches for treatment of hyperhidrosis. These include:

  • Botox injections to inhibit the release of a substance involved in transmitting nerve impulses, effectively blocking neural control of the sweat glands. This procedure has been approved by the FDA and is effective for 3 to 9 months.
  • Nighttime applications of aluminum chloride solution in a much higher concentration than is found in traditional antiperspirants.
  • Applications of a methenamine solution.
  • Tap water iontophoresis, which involves passing of low electrical current through the affected area.
  • Psychological counseling and/or medication to mitigate anxiety.
Patients seeking a surgeon for hyperhidrosis surgery may request a referral from their primary care physician. They may also use Find a Doctor to search by specialty, such as back pain surgery, gastric sleeve procedure or spinal stenosis treatment