Axillary Hyperhidrosis: A 5-Year Review of Treatment Efficacy and Recurrence Rates Using a New Arthroscopic Shaver Technique

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Axillary hyperhidrosis is a chronic condition characterized by excess axillary perspiration. This results in considerable patient morbidity, with no consistently efficacious medical or surgical treatment method described in the literature.


All cases of axillary hyperhidrosis over a 5-year period were reviewed retrospectively. Data were gathered by a chart review and telephone interview. Inclusion criteria included primary hyperhidrosis, failed conservative therapy, no prior surgical therapy, surgical management using a new arthroscopic shaver technique (R.L.B.-S.), and 6 months of postoperative follow-up. The technique used was consistent between surgeons. Sweating severity was assessed using a subjective numerical rating scale ranging from 1 to 10. Patient demographics, symptom history, results, and complications were analyzed.


Average follow-up for 50 patients meeting the inclusion criteria was 28 months. The subjective severity scale demonstrated severity of 9.8 of 10 preoperatively and 2.3 of 10 postoperatively. Three patients (6 percent) reported mild recurrence of symptoms (4.6 of 10), which was not severe enough to seek further treatment. The average follow-up of those patients was 18.5 months. An overall subjective satisfaction of 96 percent was found, with a treatment success rate of 94 percent. Complications were minimal and self-limiting. The average time away from employment was 3.9 days and the average surgical operating room time was 46 minutes.


The authors' new arthroscopic shaver technique is efficacious, with no significant morbidity, a 96 percent satisfaction rate, a subjectively measured 75 percent reduction of sweat, and a recurrence rate of only 6 percent. For cases of primary hyperhidrosis affecting the axilla not amenable to conservative treatment, the authors recommend an arthroscopic shaver technique as the first-line treatment of choice.

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