Women Finds Surgical Cure for Excessive Sweating

Thirty-three-year-old Christine Court is very "hands on." As an event planner, she's always meeting and greeting new people. Incredibly, she’s mastered hiding an embarrassing condition that she’s had since childhood.

"Unpredictably, spontaneously, my hands sweat uncontrollably, especially when conditions are really hot," said Court.

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition, where the body sweats three- to four-times the normal amount. It affects about 3per cent of the world population. The exact cause is unknown, but it's been linked to over-activity of the nerves that send signals to the sweat glands in the skin.

Court suffers from palmar hyperhidrosis or "excessive" hand sweating. It affects all of her daily activities.

"As soon as the hands start sweating, I lose grip of the pen or pencil, I have problems erasing the paper because the paper gets so absorbed with water," she said.

Many treatments offer temporary relief. But Court thinks she's found a more permanent surgical solution.

Court recently met with Dr. Lawrence Glassman at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. At Glassman's suggestion, she underwent a minimally invasive procedure called "a sympathectomy." It will permanently stop the sweating in its tracks, said Glassman. The surgery does run the risk, however, of causing sweating in other, less noticeable, parts of the body.

During the surgery Glassman cut a nerve located in Court’s chest cavity by making two incisions and using a tiny camera to guide him.

"There is a rare risk to this procedure," he said. "There is the risk of cutting the nerve too high, and causing problems with the nerve supply to the eye."

Studies show this hour-long operation is more than 98 percent effective.

Since having the surgery, Court said she’s experienced the normal side effect of sweating in another part of her body, but said she’s thrilled because her hands and feet have stopped sweating entirely.