Check Your Health: Hyperhidrosis Surgery

KUTV CHY 090315
Check Your Health: Hyperhidrosis Surgery

(KUTV) It's called hyperhidrosis but can better be explained as excessive sweating. Doctors and patients describe it as having sweaty hands similar to the kind of moisture as running your hands under a faucet. Aspiring actress and performer, Hailey Bennett, had dealt with hyperhidrosis for as long as she can remember.

"Going to school and writing on things there would be wet marks," says Bennett. "Reading books, I couldn't hold anything that wasn't absorbent."

Bennett tried several non-invasive options, unfortunately none of which were successful. After the excessive sweating began to affect her career goals she decided surgery was the best option. According to Utah Valley Regional surgeon John Mitchell, she had a severe case of hyperhidrosis. He says this condition isn't as uncommon as many people think. It affects around 2-3 percent of the population.

Doctors have pinpointed a pair of nerves running down the sides of the spine that are responsible for the sweating. Doctor Mitchell says those nerves are the focus of the surgery. He describes the procedure as entering into each chest cavity, finding the nerve, and then dividing that nerve. The entire surgery takes about 45 minutes and the results Doctor Mitchell has seen have been life changing.

"It was just immediate," said Bennett. "Right when I woke up there was just absolutely no sweat."

Doctor Mitchell says there are a couple of potential risks with the surgery. If the cut on the nerve is too high, nerves in the face can be affected. For some patients the surgery can also lead to additional sweating of the chest and back.