New Hyperhidrosis Surgery Saves Cop’s Job

The 8 million Americans living with hyperhidrosis have to cope with excessive sweating that often interrupts their daily lives. In fact, those with hyperhidrosis sweat four to five times as much as the average person. For many people, including Officer Benjamin Hetrick, the symptoms go beyond just the physical.

Hetrick explained that he would often be in a constant state of panic, worried about his sweaty hands on the job — which, in turn, would cause him to sweat more. Conventionally accepted hyperhidrosis treatments like medicines, creams, and electric current therapy failed to work for the new police academy graduate.

Although his condition didn’t keep him from graduating, simple tasks that most police officers take for granted took Hetrick much longer: things like gripping and steering the wheel of his patrol car, putting on gloves, and handling suspects.

But Hetrick then heard about a new surgical procedure being used to treat hyperhidrosis. Developed by thoracic surgeon David Nielson, sympathectomy is less invasive than other surgeries that have been used to treat the condition. The surgery involves cutting the nerve that carries “sweat signals” from the brain — the communication that tells body parts to produce sweat. Normally, surgeons use large, multiple incisions to accomplish these results. Nielsen is able to use just one. Patients experience a dramatic change in the amount of sweat they produce, thus having an overwhelmingly positive impact on their lives.

After undergoing the surgery, Hetrick has experienced a complete 180-degree turn and has no regrets — other than waiting as long as he did to have the procedure done. Despite the fact that his insurance plan did not cover the procedure, he says the $6,500 cost was well worth it. This advancement presents a new, exciting option for hyperhidrosis sufferers who have failed to find success with other forms of treatment.

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