Sweat Glands Removal Pros and Cons – A Surgical Approach

Sweat Glands Removal Pros and Cons – A Surgical Approach

There is an estimate of 2 to 3 percent of Americans who suffer from Hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition where the sweat glands abnormally produce sweat. If you are currently suffering from this condition or even from undiagnosed excessive sweating, then you may be wondering about sweat glands removal pros and cons.

From interacting with people to going out in public, excessive sweat and odor can cause major issues for your self-confidence. Let’s take a look at hyperhidrosis, its causes and how it can be treated.

What is Hyperhidrosis?

The abnormal production of sweat can cause a person to feel very uncomfortable. Not only around other people but also within themselves. Hyperhidrosis can cause people to sweat even when resting. There does not have to be a reason, as this condition plays on sweat glands that are on hyper-drive.

Hyperhidrosis is known to cause social anxiety and embarrassment. This condition typically begins in later adolescence, around the age of 13. If problems go untreated, they can persist a lifetime.

Hyperhidrosis Treatment Options

Typically, when excessive sweating begins, an individual will change the strength of their antiperspirant. They may step it up to a clinical strength to see if that makes a difference. If a change in antiperspirant does not provide successful results, then other treatment options are tried. These may include:

  • Prescription-strength antiperspirant – This type of antiperspirant will contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate.
  • Iontophoresis – This device will pass ionized tap water through the skin with the use of electricity. Works to block the sweat ducts.
  • Oral Medications – Medications designed to reduce sweat, such as glycopyrrolate (Robinul).
  • Botox (Botulinum toxin A) – This treatment has been approved by the FDA and is a successful treatment for underarm sweating.
  • miraDry – With the use of microwave energy, and sweat glands are permanently eliminated.
  • Lasers – Lasers are used to target underarm sweat glands that produce sweat and odor.
  • Surgery – This procedure is known as thoracic sympathectomy, and is used as a last resort to treat hyperhidrosis.

What is Thoracic Sympathectomy?

A thoracic sympathectomy is a surgical approach to sweat gland removal. During this procedure, a surgical interruption of the sympathetic nerves will be conducted. These nerves are responsible for producing sweat.

The surgeon will insert an endoscopic instrument into the chest between two ribs just below the armpit. This procedure is effective but risky. These risks include excessive sweating in other parts of the body, as well as lung and nerve issues. Since these risks are serious and non-reversible, this operation is rarely used and only opted as a last resort.

Surgical Sweat Glands Removal Pros and Cons


  • An effective way to treat excessive sweating.
  • Permanent solution


  • Tingling or prickling sensations
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Compensatory sweating (excessive sweating in other areas of the body).
  • Gustatory sweating (sweating around the neck and face after eating).
  • Rhinitis (inflammation of the nose)
  • Damaged phrenetic nerve (this nerve aids with breathing)
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Pneumothorax (trapped air between the layers of the lung)

Can Hyperhidrosis be Cured Permanently?

Yes, two treatment options offer permanent solutions. These include miraDry and surgical removal of the sweat glands. MiraDry is a non-invasive procedure, which is often the way many individuals decide to go because it comes with little to no risk. Surgical methods are only used when all other methods have failed.


Weighing the sweat glands removal pros and cons can help you make the best decision on rather or not a surgical approach is right for you. Other options come with less risk, which may help eliminate your symptoms. Consult your physician and decide what is best for your case. MiraDry has been used to treat thousands of cases of hyperhidrosis and has been very successful. Plus, this procedure is non-invasive, which means there are no incisions or cuts.

What Do You Think?

Have you considered one of these treatment options for your excessive sweating? What has worked for you? Comment below and tell us your story.


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