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Teen Regains Confidence After Surgery for Sweating Disorder


 

Trukee, California - Teachers told Margaret Keckly that she was disorganized. School papers were a mess. Smudged and wrinkled, teachers thought that Margaret just didn't care. Her classmates wouldn't shake her hands or hold her hands in prayer group. Margaret's hands were always wet with perspiration.

Margaret has hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes the hands and feet to sweat uncontrollably.

“ I felt like a total freak,” Margaret said. “Everyone would make fun of me and no one wanted to give me high five’s during basketball.”

For years, Margaret and her parents, Nancy and Paul Keckly searched for a diagnosis and hopefully a treatment option. Pediatricians and family doctors in Reno, NV told the family that Margaret held her hands in odd positions causing her to sweat or they gave her cortisone creams to stop the sweating. Finally two years ago, a nurse practitioner diagnosed Margaret’s condition as hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis is a hereditary condition caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system affecting over 7.8 million Americans. Symptoms include extreme sweating of the hands, underarm area, face, scalp or feet. It is associated with Raynaud's Syndrome (cold hands that often change colors because of hypersensitivity to temperature change), facial blushing and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, pain of the hands and arms. What many people do not know is that there is a successful treatment for hyperhidrosis.

After searching the Internet for answers, the Keckly's found several options including Botox injections into the hands, prescription medicines, and Dr. David Nielson, a cardio-thoracic surgeon based in San Antonio.

“ I couldn’t see myself getting shots in my hands every 6 months,” Margaret said.

Dr. Nielson revolutionized the Micro-Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy procedure. Micro ETS is the least invasive surgery for people suffering from hyperhidrosis. This procedure has a quick recovery time and has a high success rate for those suffering from palmer hyperhidrosis and an 85- to 90 percent improvement rate for those suffering from Raynaud's Syndrome.

Using his unique ETS method, Dr. Nielson makes a 1/12th-inch incision under each arm and works inside the body using micro surgical instruments and a fiber optic camera to precisely divide the sympathetic nerve. Once the sympathetic nerve is identified, he severs it to instantly improve the excessive sweating. The procedure takes 30 minutes. The patient is able to leave two to four hours after the procedure. Patients travel from all over the world to meet Nielson and undergo the procedure. Surgery is covered under most health insurance.

“ I can recount many stories of patients who have suffered from Hyperhidrosis,” Dr. Nielson said. “It is extremely gratifying to watch a patient come out of the surgery and be amazed that their hands are dry.”

For Margaret and her parents, this was their answer to twelve years of suffering, emotionally and physically. They traveled to San Antonio and Margaret underwent the procedure. Later that day, her parents toured San Antonio constantly holding Margaret’s hands.

“ I kept asking them to feel my hands,” Margaret said. “I definitely have a new confidence.”

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