Hyperhidrosis is a condition involving excessive sweating, primarily in the hands, feet, face and underarms. Evidently this condition can lead to a great deal of anxiety and self-esteem issues surrounding many social, professional and athletic activities. Hyperhidrosis is a result of an uncontrollable and overactive sympathetic nervous system (nerves that activate the ‘fight-or-flight’ response). These nerves send signals for the production and ejection of sweat at the surface of our body. For more extensive information on hyperhidrosis please visit www.hyperhidrosis.ca.
The most effective and permanent treatment for hyperhidrosis is a sympathectomy. This is a surgery where the physician makes an incision on the side of the chest and severs the sympathetic nerve at an exact location near the second rib on both sides of the body. This procedure is often done using Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery. There are varying degrees of success possible, based upon the type and severity of hyperhidrosis in each patient. This procedure usually takes about an hour and a half.
This is a day-surgery procedure, which allows you to both come into the hospital and go home on the same day. The surgery carries with it only minor risks of bleeding, and infection, aside from the risks associated with anesthesia.
You must NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING (including water) after midnight the night before your procedure.
Please remember that every patient’s recovery and recovery time is different depending on the individual and we can only provide approximate time frames and expectations.
Family and Friends may wait in the Same Day Admit Waiting Area until after the procedure is over and the patient is out of the recovery room. The hospital times vary with each patient and nursing staff, however you can expect to be in the hospital for majority of the day. You must have a friend or relative present to take you home in order to be discharged from the hospital.
The incision will be dressed with a bandage that needs to be kept dry for the following 48 hrs. After this, the wound can be kept clean using soap and water.
Mild discomfort may be experienced after the procedure and can usually be controlled by over-the-counter pain killers. You will be given a prescription (generally Tylenol® #3) that can be filled if the pain is more severe.
You will have a return appointment scheduled with Dr. Toth to discuss the results of the procedure. This is usually about 1-2 weeks after your procedure. Please call our office if you are experiencing any excessive bleeding, swelling, discharge, if you have a high fever or are suffering inescapable pain.
All sympathectomies are conducted at Southlake Regional Health Centre; the procedure itself takes about an hour and is done in the Operating Room. You will need to register at the Welcome Centre in the hospital two hours before your scheduled operation.