9 The Strand Penshurst
NSW 2222, Australia

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SWEATY ARMPITS – surgical approach

ARMPIT LOCAL SURGERY Includes:

-Liposuction.

-Liposuction and curette

-Laser Liposuction

-Curettage

-Excision

-Botulotoxin injectiond

Physicians and dermatologist often have excellent results with these techniques. Each of these procedures can be done under local anesthesia (meaning that the patient is not completely “out”) and in an office setting (as opposed to in a hospital setting).

All of the techniques mentioned above have the same goal: to remove or injure sweat glands so that they can no longer produce perspiration. Sweat glands are located just beneath the skin (where the skin and the underlying fat meet) and are thus accessible for these types of interventions. In the underarms, the sweat glands are also fairly localized, making surgery a viable option.

During LIPOSUCTION, a physician will use a small tube to suck out the superficial layer of fat in the armpit where the sweat glands are.

During CURETTAGE, a special blunt cannula is used along the skin’s under-surface to scrape out as many of the sweat glands as possible, or to at least damage them enough so that they no longer work.

During SUCTION-CURETTAGE the liposuction tube and the curettage scraping method are both used.

It’s important to note that excision, indicating the complete removal of underarm tissue containing sweat glands, is NO LONGER RECOMMENDED because heavy scarring can cause serious  motion problems – even to the point where a person may not be able to move his or her shoulder normally.

A newer liposuction technique is LIPOSUCTION COMBINED WITH LASER to liquefy the tissue containing the sweat glands. The laser‘s energy is applied directly to cells (including the cells of the sweat glands), causing them to rupture so that the body can drain them away and/or liposuction can remove the damaged cells. We use 980 nm Diode Laser.

One of the benefits of local surgery for excessive sweating is that for whatever glands

you injure or remove, there is often a permanent result – the affected glands will not produce any more sweat.

Axillary surgery can be performed in a physician’s office under local anesthesia. Recovery is usually a couple of days although patients may feel sore for up to a week and need to limit their arm activity (sports, lifting above their heads, etc.) during that time. If sweat reduction has not been sufficient, it is also possible to repeat a procedure or to use Botox or antiperspirants to control sweating from remaining sweat glands.

Compensatory sweating has not been associated with local surgery.

As with any surgery, there are potential complications such as infection. There also may be bruising, swelling, loss of sensation in the underarms, and scarring depending upon the size and number of incisions that the physician uses.

Below is a brief overview of accepted local surgical techniques for axillary (underarm) hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating):

Curettage: In small Taiwanese study of 19 patients (90%) had excellent to good response.

Liposuction: Sweat reduction rates range from 44% to 49%

Liposuction and Curettage: Sweat reduction rates approximately 63%

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