The Dangers of ETS Surgery for Excessive Sweating
If you have an excessive sweating problem, you may have heard of endoscopic sympathectomy (ETS) surgery. If you are considering this option - Don't!
This surgery can have severe complications and, in spite of the promises, could leave you in a worse situation than you currently face. Some people have experienced more sweating after the operation than before.
That's right - more sweating. Doesn't sound like a good solution to the problem of excessive sweating, does it? Okay, you have problems with excessive sweating, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. You want a solution. That's fair enough. However, ETS Surgery is NOT the solution.
Read on to find out more about ETS. And be sure to visit my website for more information on the major hyperhidrosis treatments.
ETS Surgery Leads to Compensatory Sweating
More than half of the patients who have undergone the surgery have experienced "compensatory sweating." Over 50 per cent of people sweat more after the surgery than before!
That's because the surgeons basically prevent you from sweating in a certain area, but sweat is the body's way of releasing some toxins from the skin and providing self cooling.
While excessive sweating is uncomfortable, sweating is actually part of how our bodies work and we need to sweat in some way. If you have ETS Surgery, you may stop sweating from under the arms, for example, but many people sweat more on the trunk of the body or their thighs.
Some patients experience such severe compensatory sweating that it continually soaks through their clothing. Imagine sitting on a bus for 10 minutes, getting up and leaving a pool of sweat on the seat as you leave? Do you want people to think you are incontinent too?
I've seen videos where people look like they have their own shower as they walk around - the sweat just drips off them in sheets. The compensatory sweating can be more severe than the excessive sweating problem you started with. It's just not worth it!
Doctors Don’t Know Who Will React Like This
This is something the doctor's can't determine pre-operatively - that is before the operation. Techniques, instruments and doctor experience vary so greatly, there is no guarantee in this type of surgery anyway.
It is even more difficult for doctor's to pre-determine who will experience severe ‘compensatory sweating', following ETS surgery, because no-one's body is exactly the same as another one. This means every surgery is slightly different, and individual variations in nerve routes can be very different from patient to patient. This could mean the surgeon misses some branches of nerves and you could end up with persistent symptoms of excessive sweating.
The surgery is painful. Some doctor's claim to be able to do ‘micro' surgery with only a few cuts, but this technique means there is more likelihood of them missing some of the nerves. Others will remove one of your ribs to complete the surgery.
All operations and surgeries present some risks, but before you consider ETS surgery, think carefully about how the list before would impact on your life. These are all possible dangers of the ETS Surgery.
Complications of ETS Surgery
Other known possible complications of the surgery include:
- Phantom sweating, where the patient feels the sensations of sweating but is not actually sweating.
- Numbness of the skin
- Sensitive Pleurae (chest lining sensitivity) limiting exercise
- Heat Intolerance
- Failure to improve symptoms
- Regeneration of the nerve Infection
- Gustatory sweating (increased sweating while smelling or eating)
- Dry face, dry mouth, dry eyes
- Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
- Postop Neuralgia
- Hair loss
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate) possibly requiring a pacemaker
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Don’t Risk the Dangers of ETS Surgery
If you suffer from excessive sweating, look for other, more natural solutions to the problem. Don't risk making it worse by ETS Surgery. None of the above complications are worth the risk. Not being able to exercise, go out to dinner with friends, having a collapsed lung or a pacemaker are not things you want in your life.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has had good or bad experiences with ETS. Please leave a comment below.
This article is general in nature and does not represent medical advice. Always consult with a qualified medical practitioner before choosing a course of hyperhidrosis treatment.