Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi hospital are highlighting a “simple treatment” for the embarrassing problem of excessively sweating hands.
While it is common for hands to sweat in particularly stressful situations, some people find they sweat excessively on a regular basis, due to a little-known condition known as hyperhidrosis.
The condition causes the sweat glands to overreact to stimuli, producing too much sweat. While not life threatening, patients with the condition often feel it affects their quality of life.
“Unfortunately, hyperhidrosis often goes undiagnosed due to a lack of awareness. Many people don’t even realize they have a medical condition at all, despite the impact it can have on their life. Some of my patients tell me they are miserable, embarrassed to shake hands when they meet people, or even that they find it hard to hold a mobile phone or steering wheel,” says Dr. Redha Souilamas, Chair of Thoracic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
While hyperhidrosis patients are often recommended a variety of treatments such as Botox injections or creams to prevent sweating, the treatments are temporary at best. However, surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi are keen to highlight that a permanent treatment for excessive sweating does exist.
To prevent sweating from the hands, surgeons perform a minimally invasive procedure called a video-assisted thoracic sympathectomy. The brief operation sees surgeons interrupt the sympatic nerve that controls the sweat glands in the hands. This prevents the sweat glands from activating, putting an immediate end to sweaty palms.
After the surgery, which takes less than 30 minutes, patients will often see an instant improvement in their condition and are discharged from hospital the following day.
“My patients can’t believe the difference the surgery makes in their life. They tell me they feel more confident and have a radically different outlook on life. It really makes clear the role we play not only in saving lives, but improving them,” says Dr. Souilamas.
A.A underwent surgery for his/her hyperhidrosis in August at the age of 34. Following the surgery, he is keen to spread the word about hyperhidrosis and its cure.
“I spent years embarrassed by how much I would sweat. I would sweat so much I was showering up to five times a day. Meeting new people was awkward and I would only wear black or white clothes to try and hide the sweat marks. Since my surgery, I feel like a different person. One of the most exciting things is that I can wear different colored clothes without having to worry about sweat patches,” he says.
The surgical approach is one of a series of pioneering treatments being offered at the hospital across a broad range of areas. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has assembled one of the most significant teams of robotic and minimally invasive specialists anywhere in the region.