Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes heavy sweating in the palms of your hands, or face, underarms and sometimes feet. People with this condition may sweat even when the temperature is cool or when they are at rest.

Tests and diagnosis

  • Starch-iodine test is when an iodine solution is applied to the sweaty area and starch is sprinkled over the iodine solution. The starch-iodine combination will turn a dark blue color indicating where there is excess sweat production.
  • Paper test involves placing a paper on the affected area to absorb sweat, and then weighed to determine the amount of sweating that occurs.
  • Laboratory tests such as blood work that may be conducted.


Video-assisted sympathectomy is a minimally invasive procedure where a surgeon cuts or clamps the sympathetic nerve chain, which runs along your spine. This prevents the brain from sending signals to the involved areas to make them sweat. We perform this procedure through several small incisions, using a tiny camera (thoracoscope) and sleek surgical instruments. The thoracoscope transmits images of the inside of your body onto a video monitor, guiding the surgeon in performing the procedure.

Contact us

Undiagnosed or no referral

If you have not been formally diagnosed yet, call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 to see your primary care provider to explore all possible causes of your symptoms. All thoracic procedures require a referral from a provider before scheduling.

Scheduling a procedure

If you have a referral for a thoracic procedure, contact the team at the facility where you want to have the procedure completed:

Allegheny General Hospital
320 East North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(412) 359-6137

Forbes Hospital
2570 Haymaker Road
Monroeville, PA 15146

(412) 858-7088

Jefferson Hospital
565 Coal Valley Road
Jefferson Hills, PA 15025

(412) 469-7900

Saint Vincent Hospital
232 West 25th Street
Erie, PA 16544

(814) 453-7767