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Microwave Thermolysis for Excessive Sweating

Microwave thermolysis is a revolutionary new treatment for patients suffering from hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved this treatment in January 2011 for treatment of excessive sweating in the underarm area. Johns Hopkins is the first hospital in Maryland to treat patients using this system.

What is microwave thermolysis?

The system works by directing energy at the sweat glands in the underarm. By destroying the sweat glands in the underarm, excessive sweating in that area stops immediately. Only 2% of the sweat glands in the body are located in the underarm area, so destroying them in this area does not affect the body’s ability to cool.

A doctor treating a patient's underarm
Dr. Malcolm Brock treats a patient’s
underarm sweating using microwave

What should I expect during the procedure?

Before the procedure, your doctor will numb the underarm area. Then your underarm skin is lifted into the system and microwave energy is directed to the sweat glands. The procedure typically takes an hour and involves no incisions or cuts; you should not feel any discomfort. After two treatments in our center, 95% of patients report a significant reduction in underarm sweat.

Will insurance cover the procedure?

As of now, insurance does not cover microwave thermolysis for excessive sweating.


Related Articles, Videos and Interviews 

Treatment Options: Read or Listen to this interview from WAMU 88.5 to learn more about treatment options and hear from patients who were treated for excessive sweating at Johns Hopkins.

No Sweat: How Surgery Changed the Life of a Man with Excessive Perspiration Read the article.

Do You Suffer from Excessive Sweating?: Watch this online seminar to learn about the condition and its treatments from Dr. Malcolm Brock and Dr. Mary Sheu. 

Hyperhidrosis: Listen to this interview from Urban Health Radio with Dr. Brock, Dr. Puttgen and our Center Administrator, Ben Waldbaum, CRNA.

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