About The Surgery
While there are options for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, many of the lotions, antiperspirants or pills provide only temporary relief and do not work on all patients. If you are looking for a more permanent alternative, Dr. Fox is an experienced thoracic surgeon with extensive background in dealing with hyperhidrosis. Until recently, permanent surgery to combat the problem was a much more invasive, complicated surgery and in many cases was not recommended for patients. However, Dr. Fox is extremely excited about a new technique known as endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy (ETS) which is a safe and effective treatment for hyperhidrosis.
The procedure takes place under general anesthesia administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist, and takes about one hour start to finish. The first step, because the sympathetic branch of the nervous system is located within the chest cavity, is to collapse your lung to make room for Dr. Fox to operate. While this sounds complicated in nature, Dr. Fox would not perform this type of maneuver if it were not safe. Next he will place a fiber-optic camera through a 1/2 inch incision below your armpit, and locate the sympathetic nerve chain at the back of your chest. Through a second similar incision, the surgeon is able to divide or place a clip on the nerve chain at the appropriate level, in order to interrupt the nerve signal transmission from the sympathetic nerve to the sweat glands. This will result in a cessation of perspiration from the hands, underarms, or face. After inflating your lung, Dr. Fox will perform the exact same procedure in the opposite chest. The incisions are so small that no skin stitches are required, and the surgical scars are minimal.
Dr. Fox does require an overnight stay in the hospital to monitor your progress. You should be up and walking within a couple of hours after the surgery and return to normal activities within three to four days. The good news is that the results are generally permanent in nature.
As with all surgeries, there is some degree of risk. This will be covered in more detail during your consultation with Dr. Fox.