Excessive sweating from the hands and armpits (hyperhidrosis) is a common condition that can become socially disabling for many, severely hampering one’s professional and personal life. Although conservative treatments can be effective, they often offer limited long-term success and the problem can reoccur.
The traditional surgical approach to the problem was the division of the sympathetic nerve chain. This involved a surgical wound above both collar bones and was a technically demanding procedure.
However, the advent of minimally-invasive keyhole surgery has allowed surgeons to treat this condition using a specially adapted telescope, which requires a tiny (about 1cm) incision under the arm to access the nerve chain, which lies in the upper chest cavity, immediately in front of the ribs.
The operation is known as Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS). While a general anaesthetic is required, most patients are well enough to leave hospital and return home the same day and the operation is usually immediately effective.
Working with a specialist anaesthetist, Mr Chalmers has been performing this procedure for over 15 years and is the only vascular surgeon in South-East Scotland to offer this treatment for hyperhidrosis.
Patients who experience severe and excessive facial flushing can also benefit from ETS treatment, and Mr Chalmers has helped many such individuals.