Hyperhidrosis Patient Says Sympathectomy was "The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me"

Below is a letter from hyperhidrosis patient Amy Bastianelli, who underwent a thoracoscopic sympathectomy at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Amy, who had dealt with sweaty hands for years, was anxious to take care of her problem. 

She found out about the University of Maryland Medical Center through an Internet search. Amy says she chose Maryland because she couldn't find anyone in her home state of Delaware with the level of expertise that she desired. “If I didn't go to Maryland, I wouldn't have had the surgery done at all,” she said. Read Amy's letter below.

Well, it has been a whole month since my surgery and I wanted to write a little note to let you know how many little things in my day to day life are better now that my hands (and feet and armpits for that matter) do not sweat anymore.

I can use tape now -- Scotch tape, duct tape, and electrical tape. I'd never really been able to use tape effectively before and now I can.

Now that my feet don't sweat. I can wear sandals, other than only the ones with woven bottoms. My feet used to slip on normal sandals, and the bottoms a lot of sandals have was actually painful for me. Not any more!

I can take a hot shower in the morning and walk out into the late summer Richmond weather and not feel like my hands are going to swell up and my rings are going to be stuck on my fingers forever. I used to be called "nutty professor hands" and also "sausage fingers" when my hands would get really sweaty and puffy. Never again!

I teach a Spanish class in which I have to snap my fingers time after time after time at students to prompt them to give me responses. Snapping used to be painful and pretty much inaudible/impossible when my hands were sweaty. Not any more!

I can use my friend's computers without them getting that crinkly grossed out look on their faces when I'm done.

I used to wear little T-shirts and have to wash them after only having them on for a few hours, because my armpits sweated so much. I can wear shirts multiple times now, and there's not a trace of sweat on them. No more pit stains!

I can take notes now without smudging ink all over the page. My handwriting is bad enough as it is, and it was sometimes impossible to decipher before.

I shake someone's hand when I meet them now and don't have to apologize or explain why my hands are drenched. It is amazing.

And last, but not least, perhaps the silliest but the most wonderful of all. I held hands with a boy the other day, and I swear I cannot remember ever having done that before. It was really nice.

So anyway, this is my way of saying thank you and letting you know how appreciative I am of the great care that was taken of me by all of the doctors and the nurses with whom I came into contact. "Getting my hands fixed" as I affectionately refer to the sympathectomy was the best thing that has ever happened to me, a blessing beyond blessings, and I am grateful every day for the small pleasures the surgery has afforded me.

I really cannot thank you enough -- from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.


Amy Bastianelli