Underarm Sweating overview
The traditional treatments for underarm sweating have been transthoracic endoscopic sympathectomy (TES) and Botox.
TES is surgery under general anesthesia, and involves an endoscope being placed through the chest wall to gain access to the nerves that control sweating. The nerves are then cut, and sweating is stopped. However, in some cases sweating in other areas such as the hands or feet may actually increase. This compensatory sweating is a major drawback of the procedure.
Botox injections, done in a series of 20 on each side, can also effectively stop underarm sweating without any major side effects. The drawback is that the treatment only lasts for 6 -8 months before the sweating returns and the treatment must be repeated. At an average cost of $2000 per session, most people find the long-term cost prohibitive.
Ultrasonic liposuction is a decade old technique that has been used to melt fat, and had been used in over 1000 patients in several research trials. Through a tiny incision in the armpit, numbing medicine is applied and then the ultrasonic probe is placed under the skin. The technique permanently destroys or disables the sweat glands, or reduces sweating to a very low level in almost all cases. Complications are related to skin damage or burns, and are rare. The cost is much less than surgery or Botox, and repeat treatment is simple and free of charge.
Research studies showing the safety1, effectiveness2, and superiority3 of the ultrasonic approach have been published.
1. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2006;59(9):978-82. Epub 2006 May 11
2. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2009 May;33(3):312-23. Epub 2009 Jan 3
3. Surg Neurol. 2008 Dec;70 Suppl 1:S1:64-8