People with excessive sweating live with a variety of day-to-day challenges: personal and professional limitations, ongoing discomfort, looming embarrassment, to name just a few. Hyperhidrosis sufferers know that this one thing impacts everything they do or can't do ; it's an ever-present worry. Thankfully, we are seeing great improvements in hyperhidrosis treatment and in the understanding of this under-acknowledged condition. Yet far too often we hear from hyperhidrosis patients about their difficult and often irreversible side effects caused by endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy ETS surgery. Some have even lost their lives.
Minimally Invasive Sympathectomy for Hyperhidrosis | Cardiothoracic Surgery
Deep inside your chest, a structure called the sympathetic nerve chain runs up and down along your spine. It is the part of the nervous system responsible for the fight or flight response. During a sympathectomy, a surgeon cuts or clamps this nerve chain. This keeps nerve signals from passing through it. This procedure is used to treat a condition called hyperhidrosis or abnormally heavy sweating in the palms of the hands, the face, the underarms, and sometimes the feet. It's also used for facial blushing, some chronic pain conditions and Raynaud phenomenon — a condition that leads to profound sensitivity to cold temperatures and color changes of the skin. After a sympathectomy, the brain can't send signals to the involved areas to make them sweat, blush, or react to the cold as much.
Long before I became part of a sweat proof undershirt company, I suffered from cranial hyperhidrosis. When I was a young adult, I decided to get an endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy ETS , also known as hyperhidrosis surgery. If you have hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating, this is the last thing you want to hear when sudden, profuse sweating strikes. But it never fails.
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy ETS is surgery to treat sweating that is much heavier than normal. This condition is called hyperhidrosis. Usually the surgery is used to treat sweating in the palms or face. The sympathetic nerves control sweating. The surgery cuts these nerves to the part of the body that sweats too much.