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Rady Children's Specialists

Sweaty Palms Surgery


Thanks to surgery by Dr. Michael Levy and Dr. Timothy Fairbanks, Teresa’s life has been transformed.

Surgery for hyperhidrosis (often referred to as “sweaty palms surgery”) has been done on adults with great success. Using a minimally invasive technique, doctors cut a section of the sympathetic nerve behind the third rib, which eliminates the excessive sweating.

This same surgery is being performed at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego by Michael Levy, M.D. Ph.D., chief of the Neurosurgery Division, and pediatric surgeon Timothy Fairbanks, M.D. Both have previously performed this surgery on adults. At Rady Children’s, their first patient was a high-school girl with excessively sweaty palms, who changed schools several times because of bullying. She is now cured of the condition and has a new life.

The surgery requires just a few tiny incisions below the breast, and the doctors use an endoscope to locate the section of the nerve and then remove it. It is done on an outpatient basis and typically takes a couple hours. Most kids go home the same day.

Treatment options other than surgery include topical antiperspirants and Botox injections on the hands, which stop the sweating for only three to four months. There are medications, but some cause side effects, including dry mouth and eyes, low energy and sleepiness.

The only “side effect” of the surgery is less sweating, which causes dry hands.

For kids who are suffering in silence, this surgery can be life-changing.

If you would like to learn more about surgery for sweaty palms, please call the office of Dr. Michael Levy at 858-966-8574.