For people who suffer from hyperhidrosis (otherwise known as excessive sweating), the only treatments were strong anti-perspirants, major surgery or Botox injections. However, there is a new cosmetic treatment on the market to help stop excessive sweating which also has the benefit of being minimally invasive – Laser Sweat Ablation (LSA). The cosmetic procedure is relatively new with the first operation in the UK performed last month by Mark Whiteley at The Whiteley Clinic in Guildford.
Laser Sweat Ablation uses a laser to remove the sweat glands from the armpits. Without the sweat glands, no sweat is produced in the area thus the excessive sweating is stopped for good.
Sweating is an unconscious process and therefore is largely uncontrollable by the patient. Some people have overactive sweat glands and it’s just ‘one of those things’. Up until now, one of the only minimally invasive cosmetic procedures to help stop sweating is through the use of Botox which blocks the nerves that controls sweating. However as new nerves grow back, the sweating begins again and at up to £1,500 per set of injections, this can be a costly process. In contrast, the Laser Sweat Ablation method costs around £3,500 and is a permanent solution for around 80% of patients.
The patient is given a local anaesthetic in the armpit area and once this has taken effect, one or two 2mm – 3mm incisions are made. A dissection tool is then used to separate the skin from the sweat glands. A surgical laser prove is then inserted into these incisions and the sweat glands are burned away from underneath the skin. A tool like a file is then used to scrub away all the dead tissue which is sucked out via a thin tube. A dressing is then applied over the incisions. Patients can normally resume normal activities the same day and when the incisions heal, should only be left with up to four small scars.