Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
There are a number of non-surgical treatments for hyperhidrosis, including, but not limited to:
Prescription-strength topical antiperspirants
Orally administered anticholinergic medications, which may partially block the transmission of nerve impulses that have become problematic
Iontophoresis, which uses water and a very mild electrical current to microscopically thicken the outer layer of the skin
However, these treatments are successful in only a small fraction of patients, and none are without side effects. Botox injections often are successful, but they provide only short-term relief, are very costly, and may become less effective over time.
Healed incisions from a VATS sympathectomy
Surgical treatments for hyperhidrosis
Surgeons have known for many years that dividing the sympathetic chain in the upper chest can provide a long-term cure for hyperhidrosis. Since this procedure, known as a sympathectomy, can now be accomplished with minimally invasive techniques, the number of patients offered the operation has dramatically risen.
Thoracoscopic (VATS) sympathectomy treats hyperhidrosis with an extremely high degree of success and patient satisfaction. Other problems that can often be successfully treated by this operation include Raynaud’s phenomenon (a condition resulting in pain and discoloration of the fingers and/or the toes after exposure to changes in temperature or emotional events) and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (a chronic pain condition).