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Suction surgery may stanch excessive sweating

People who suffer from excessive armpit sweating may find relief with a minimally invasive surgical procedure, a study shows.
/ Source: Reuters

People who suffer from excessive armpit sweating may find relief with a minimally invasive surgical procedure, a study shows.

Really sweaty 'pits, technically known as focal axially hyperhidrosis, can cause "serious emotional and social problems," note Dr. Falk G. Bechara and colleagues from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

They treated 51 such patients with "suction-curettage" to remove sweat glands in the armpits. The process is somewhat akin to liposuction, in that a cannula is inserted under the skin and suction applied — in this case to remove sweat gland rather than fat.

Before the treatment, the quality of life of the patients was significantly below normal, as evidenced by relatively high pre-treatment scores on a standard index. The average score before treatment was 12, and ranged from 9 to 18.

Nine months following suction-curettage, the average score dropped to 4, with a range of 2-8. That translates to a 63 percent improvement, Bechara and colleagues report.

Thirty-five patients reported a sweat reduction of 75 percent or more, and 13 reported a 50-75 percent reduction.

"Patient satisfaction with the surgical procedure was high, with 78.4 percent of the patients being very or completely satisfied with suction-curettage," the team found.