Friday, November 13, 2009
Medical Reports: No Sweat
We all break a sweat now and then, but nearly eight million Americans have a problem that makes them sweat so much it's embarrassing. No amount of anti-perspirant or powder can stop it, but a new procedure can. Seven's Christine Cruz has more in today's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Chrissey Stull used to sweat so much she couldn't hold a needle, and social situations were really uncomfortable.
Chrissey Stull: "Shaking people's hands and just human contact in general was horrible. It was extremely embarrassing."
Chrissey suffered from excessive sweating acondition called hyperhidrosis.
Dr. Curtis Dickman: "The sympathetic nervous system is wired abnormally in these people so that they're more sensitive to the normal triggers for sweating."
It can affect a person's hands, arm pits, feet and face. Surgery to stop sweating used to mean cutting open the chest and a week or more in the hospital.
Dr. Curtis Dickman: "It was a tremendously painful procedure, and was very difficult to identify these sympathetic nerves with that very invasive technique."
Now, doctors make two small incisions under the arm pit and cut the nerve that supplies the sweat glands. Patients go home the very same day.
Dr. Curtis Dickman: "It changes the way that the body sweats. The patients no longer sweat on their hands or their armpits, and sometimes on their head and face they also have diminished sweating."
A recent study showed the surgery successfully treated almost everyone with hyperhidrosis of the hands, and more than half of those with excessive sweating under the arms.
Chrissey Stull: "Life is great now. I'm very, very happy I did it."
Now Chrissey can exercise, play with her dogs and do all the things she loves, no sweat.
Christine Cruz: "Doctors do warn there is a risk of nerve damage with this procedure."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center