At UC Davis Medical Center, we use a video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) approach to treat hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis is an abnormality in the sympathetic nervous system that leads to excessive sweating of the palms, arm pits and feet. Topical treatments can provide short term benefit, but often patients with this disease elect to have surgery to eliminate their symptoms. Via two less than finger nail-sized incisions in the arm pit, and using a high-definition camera, the sympathetic nerves responsible for the palmar and axillary sweating are cut. This procedure is called a VATS sympathectomy or sympathicotomy, and can be up to 95% effective.
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