Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. While it may not be life-threatening, it can still have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Sweaty hands, also known as palmar hyperhidrosis, is one of the most common types of hyperhidrosis. While there are several non-surgical treatments available, hyperhidrosis surgery is often the best solution for those who have tried everything else without success. In this article, I will explore the benefits of hyperhidrosis surgery in India and why it has become such a popular destination for this type of procedure.
Understanding Hyperhidrosis and its Symptoms
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating. While sweating is a natural way for the body to regulate its temperature, people with hyperhidrosis sweat even when they don’t need to. This can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, especially when it occurs on the hands, feet, face, or underarms. Sweaty hands, in particular, can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as writing, typing, or shaking hands with others.
The symptoms of hyperhidrosis can vary from person to person, but some common signs include:
- Excessive sweating that occurs without a trigger
- Sweat that interferes with daily activities
- Skin infections or irritation due to constant moisture
- Anxiety or embarrassment related to sweating
The Psychological Effects of Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. Constant sweating can lead to feelings of embarrassment, shame, and anxiety, which can affect a person’s social life, relationships, and career. People with hyperhidrosis may avoid social situations or activities that could trigger sweating, leading to isolation and loneliness.
Studies have shown that people with hyperhidrosis are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than those without the condition. They may also experience lower self-esteem and a poorer quality of life. This is why it’s essential to seek treatment for hyperhidrosis, whether through non-surgical methods or hyperhidrosis surgery.
Some detailed statistics reported in the medical literature related to the social and emotional impacts of hyperhidrosis can be read Here
Non-Surgical Treatments for Hyperhidrosis
Before considering hyperhidrosis surgery, non-surgical treatments should be explored. These include:
- Antiperspirants: Over-the-counter or prescription-strength antiperspirants can be applied to the affected areas to reduce sweating
- Medications: Oral medications such as anticholinergics may help reduce sweating, but they can also cause side effects such as dry mouth and constipation
- Botox injections: Botulinum toxin injections, commonly known as Botox, can be used to temporarily block the nerves that stimulate sweat glands. This treatment is effective but needs to be repeated every few months
- Iontophoresis: This involves placing the hands or feet in water and running a mild electrical current through them. This treatment can be done at home using a machine or at a clinic
While these treatments may be effective for some people, they may not work for everyone. In some cases, hyperhidrosis surgery may be the best option.
Hyperhidrosis Surgery in India- What is it?
Hyperhidrosis surgery, also known as Sympathectomy, is a surgical procedure that involves cutting or clamping the sympathetic nerves that control sweating. This is typically done through small incisions in the chest or armpit. The procedure can be performed under general or local anaesthesia, and patients can usually go home the same day or the next day.
There are two main types of hyperhidrosis surgery:
- Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS): This involves using a small camera and instruments to access the sympathetic nerves. The nerves are then cut, depending on the patient’s needs. This is a form of Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS). The real meaning of the term “sympathectomy” includes the dissection and surgical removal of a specific segment of the sympathetic trunk and ganglia
- Open sympathectomy: This involves making a larger incision in the chest or armpit and directly accessing the sympathetic nerves. This procedure is less common than ETS and is usually reserved for more severe cases. This approach is almost obsolete now.
Whatever technique used, the most important aspect of the surgery is to correctly define in which level (or levels) the sympathetic trunk shall be interrupted. This decision has to be based on the patient’s symptoms localization, in balance with the risks of postoperative Compensatory Hyperhidrosis (CH).
For palmar hyperhidrosis, the interruption at the R3 and R4 levels will provide the most curative scenario, marked by completely dry hands, but with a higher risk of CH. For patients who prefer a lower risk of CH at the expense of less dry hands, the interruption can be done only at R4 level.
Benefits of Hyperhidrosis Surgery
Hyperhidrosis surgery is a highly effective treatment for sweaty hands and other types of hyperhidrosis. Some of the benefits of surgery include:
- Long-lasting results: Unlike non-surgical treatments, hyperhidrosis surgery provides long-lasting relief from excessive sweating.
- Improved quality of life: For many people, hyperhidrosis surgery can significantly improve their quality of life by reducing feelings of embarrassment, anxiety, and frustration.
- Increased confidence: People who have undergone hyperhidrosis surgery often report feeling more confident in social situations and at work.
- Minimal scarring: Hyperhidrosis surgery is minimally invasive, which means there is usually only a small scar at the incision site.
- Quick recovery time: Most patients can return to their normal activities within a few days of surgery.
Hyperhidrosis Surgery in India – Why is it Popular?
India has become a popular destination for hyperhidrosis surgery due to its high-quality medical facilities and skilled surgeons. The cost of hyperhidrosis surgery in India is also much lower than in many other countries, making it an affordable option for those who may not have access to healthcare in their home country.
In addition to the lower cost, many people choose to have hyperhidrosis surgery in India because of the high level of expertise and experience of the surgeons. Many Indian doctors have trained in the US or Europe and are up to date with the latest techniques and technologies. This ensures that patients receive the best possible care and outcomes.
Dr. Kamran Ali trained extensively at many centres of excellence around the world including Austria, South Korea and Japan. He is committed to providing the best surgical outcomes at par with international standards here in India.