July 21, 2003
by Doctor Deanna Lites
We all know that some sweating is necessary. It's helps keep us from over-heating. But for two million americans, the sweat just pours off, no matter what the temperature.
It's an embarrassing medical condition that couldn't be permanently cured Without major surgery-- Until now.
Ever since she can remember Diane Geros has had a problem with too much sweat. "I'm a nurse, so when I wear gloves at work and when I take them off and there's puddles. I have to be careful I don't splash anybody."
She even has trouble keeping a pen from slipping through her fingers, and is embarassed to shake hands.
It's called hyperhydrosis, and an estimated two million americans suffer from it-- most of them silently.
"They tend to hide the problem." Doctor Mitchell Gropper says there's no reason to be embarrassed anymore by uncontrollably sweaty palms, underarms, or heads.
And patients don't have to put up with temporary fixes like powders, creams, drugs or botox. He performs a surgery that dries up those puddles, permanently. "What we do is we open up the chest cavity by making small holes and we implant cameras into the chest."
Doctor Gropper uses minimally invasive surgery at community hospital in Munster. The cameras help locate the nerve endings that cause the sweat, and then shuts them down.
In the past, surgery like this came in through the back, cutting large muscles and causing lots of pain. Doctor Gropper used to do those major surgeries, but then decided the so-called cure was worse than the disease.
“They are brutalized by the pain in their back by having all their muscles stripped down and they become chronic pain patients."
With the newer surgery, Diane's surgery would be finished in just half an hour. Pain would be minimal and she'd go home the same day.
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