The Surgeon Minute

Eliminate Underarm Sweating with MiraDry

Eliminate Underarm Sweating with MiraDry

At one time or another, most of us have suffered the embarrassment of excessive sweating under the arms and the resultant odor. Maybe it’s happened to you at the gym or when you’re nervous speaking in front of a crowd or in a job interview. And let’s be honest, nothing diminishes your self confidence faster than obvious giant sweat stains in the armpit of your blouse, shirt of jacket. For some, it’s a chronic condition called hyperhidrosis that goes way beyond excessive.

In the past, there really wasn’t an effective solution. Deodorants don’t work for everyone, in addition to clothing stains and perhaps adverse affects to your health. But now there’s a new technology called MiraDry that can safely and permanently eliminate the sweat glands in the underarm area. Dr. Bruce Van Natta of Indianapolis, IN discusses his personal experience with this exciting procedure.

by Katherine Stuart
and Bruce Van Natta, MD

MiraDry Works

It seems like everyday some new technology comes down the pike promising the world. There’s always a lot of hype, and most consumers are smart to ask the question, ‘Is this for real?’ In the case of MiraDry, the answer is a resounding yes. “I can tell you… MiraDry works. And I can tell you that because I’ve had it personally,” says Van Natta. Approved by the FDA in 2011 to treat excessive sweating under the arms, MiraDry works by delivering precisely controlled electromagnetic or microwave energy to the underarm area, causing thermolysis or decomposition by heat of the glands that produce sweat and odor. It does this without heating or damaging the surface of your skin in any way. Once the glands are destroyed, they don’t grow back so the results are permanent. And while sweating is vital to our body’s ability to control temperature, only about 2% of your sweat glands are located under the arms so permanently removing them won’t cause you to overheat.

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Not Just for Those with Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a medical term used to describe excessive sweating. Those who suffer from this condition often isolate themselves due to embarrassment, resulting in emotional trauma. It’s believed that about 3% of the world’s population suffer from this condition. Although MiraDry was developed to treat those patients with hyperhidrosis in the underarm area, it’s also great for, “just regular everyday folks,” says Van Natta. He decided to have it done because he found that when he was speaking in front of a crowd, he would get nervous and ruin his dress shirts. “But now, I don’t have that problem.”

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In general, one treatment will get rid of about 80-85% of the problem. For many patients, that’s enough. But for those who want to eliminate 100% of the problem, a second treatment typically does the trick. Each MiraDry session takes about an hour and half and is performed in the office, under local anesthetic. Van Natta numbs the treatment area and then passes the MiraDry probe over the sweat glands so that the heat destroys the glands. The procedure is fast, safe and effective. “I think there are a lot of people who can benefit from this,” says Van Natta.

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