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Plastic surgery

Hyperhidrosis, when is it useful to intervene with surgery?

January 1, 2018

The “scalpel” can also be useful against excessive sweating. In fact, against hyperhidrosis, surgery can be performed to improve the quality of life of the patient who suffers from the consequences of a non-threatening, but limiting disorder. We talk about this topic with Dr. Alessandra Veronesi, plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon from Humanitas.


Hyperhidrosis is characterized by the abundant production of sweat by the sweat glands. These respond excessively to stimuli coming from the outside and that stimulate sweating in physiological conditions: heat and humidity, stress and anxiety, physical activity and hormonal variations. The amount of sweat produced is greater than the one needed to maintain body temperature.


This condition can be generalized, meaning that it can affect different areas of the body, with the excessive perspiration occurring both during the day and during the night. It can instead be localized if it involves the sweat glands of restricted areas of the body, such as the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and the armpits, and tends to be presence since adolescence.

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It is important to take care of this condition, and therefore to treat it properly, also to prevent the development of certain dermatological disorders favored from excess sweating, such as mycosis. This is why it is recommended, among other things, to use anti-perspirant deodorant instead of the regular one, to change clothes and shoes more often or to wear open the shoes whenever possible.


The treatment can be pharmacological, but it can also include the use of procedures such as botulin injections and surgery: ‘In principle – explains Dr. Veronesi – surgery is only used when the results obtained with botulinum toxin are not satisfactory. The advantages associated with the use of botulinum toxin are linked to the fact that it is an outpatient treatment and that it is completely modulated according to the extent of the problem. The disadvantages, on the contrary, depend on non-definitive results (they last on average six months and occur fifteen days after treatment)’.


What are the surgical procedures and what are their effects?

‘The most performed and modern surgery is gangliosectomy (or sympathectomy) and consists of the surgical interruption of the nerve that carries the nerve impulse responsible for excessive sweating. The intervention usually takes place via laparoscopy and under general anesthesia. The effects are immediate and definitive. It is essential to contact experienced surgeons’, concludes the specialist.

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