Laser Sweat Ablation (LSA) also known as Sub Dermal Laser Ablation is one of the very latest techniques used in the fight against excessive sweating. It was first practised in Brazil but was brought to the UK and named by consultant vascular surgeon Mark Whiteley from the UK, the same man who first performed keyhole surgery to cure varicose veins in the UK.
Laser sweat ablation (LSA) is a procedure used to treat axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). It can be performed under local anaesthetic and takes around an hour. It involves making a small incision under each armpit, then the use of a highly energised laser that burns away the sweat glands responsible for axillary hyperhidrosis.
The steps involved in the procedure include:
After the initial procedure has been done you can generally carry on with your day to day life, however heavy lifting or intense exercise shouldn’t be carried out for at least a couple of weeks after treatment. The bandages can be removed after 2-3 days and the wounds should be fully healed within 5 days.
Well, as the treatment is still in its infancy, not many surgeons in the world can perform the procedure. Mark Whiteley is one of the few in the world who perform this type of surgery regularly and prices in the UK are around £3500. There are surgeons in America who practice this technique also commonly known as Sub Dermal Laser Ablation (SDLA), but I’m not aware of how much this procedure costs over here.
Other more proven treatments such as Iontophoresis, ETS, and Botox are open to funding from your medical insurance or health service however, LSA is relatively new and as a result medical insurers are slightly hesitant in funding any such procedure. As the profile of this procedure increases and the proven results start to stack up, I would expect many of the insurers will be more inclined to recommend and backup this procedure. Until then, you stand a much better chance of receiving financial help from other more well established hyperhidrosis treatments.
Unlike other treatments such as Iontophoresis or Botox, LSA is a permanent solution to underarm sweating. The current success rates are around 80%, but with Mark Whiteleys’ modifications to the procedure he is seeing continually improved success. You can read more about Laser Sweat Ablation on www.lasersweatablation.co.uk which is one of the websites run by the Whiteley Clinic.
As with any type of surgery there is the chance of certain setbacks. At the moment not much is known about the side effects of LSA, which is understandable considering how new it actually is. However, similar to ETS I would expect some compensatory sweating to happen. The general idea behind the procedure is very similar to ETS, which involves clamping, snipping, or removing the sweat glands causing the excessive sweating from the underarms. So I would presume the side effects would be something like those. More research will be needed however and I’ll be sure to keep my ear to the ground on this one.
Being a relatively new treatment for hyperhidrosis and the role that cost has to play in the matter, there aren’t many success stories from what I can see online yet. So before committing to this procedure I would do my own research. Demand to speak with past patients of your surgeon who’ve had this procedure, get their overall feel for it and whether or not it has been successful for them. Also be sure to speak with your health service or medical insurers before committing to anything, you may just be lucky enough to get the funding providing you’ve tried every other technique part from surgery.
If you haven’t then I would start with the clinical strength antiperspirants moving on to the prescription antiperspirants such as Drysol or Odaban (Europe). If they’re not successful alone try combining them with Iontophoresis or Botox. Surgery should always be a last resort in this case. You should always exhaust all other opportunities first. There’s no going back after surgery remember that.
I hope you find success with whatever treatment you feel is right for you, and as always GOOD LUCK friend!
Have you had success with LSA, what are your opinions on it, leave your comments below!
Before you go or leave a comment here’s a link to a video on Laser Sweat Ablation…