Thinking about ETS? Then read Alisha’s real life experience. Not sure what what this surgery is? then read on…
Excessive sweating occurs when the sympathetic nerves become over active. These nerves can be interrupted in several ways by surgery and the procedure bears the name of endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy or ETS. The 12 segments of the sympathetic nerves that are found in the thoracic cavity play a key role in the operation and their name indicatives range from T1 to T12. Different forms of hyperhidrosis are assigned specific T indicators (facial sweating may be a T2 or T3, for example).
In the image above, you can see a thermal image of the body in conflict, one half shows a completely different temperature than the other half which makes a person feel as if their body is slit; this is called Corposcindosis, or Split Body Syndrome. Many sites try to avoid mentioning the poor success rates of ETS Surgery and horrible side effects that can be associated with this risky procedure!
The ETS operation itself is performed through some small incisions located in the underarm area while the patient is under general anesthesia. The risks involved by this procedure are low and the beneficial results are usually satisfactory. There are three main methods of performing ETS sympathectomy, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:
Sympathectomy by clamping or clipping ETS (ETS -C / ESB)
This method does not involve the cutting of the sympathetic nerves. Instead, the surgeon interrupts their activity by applying a titanium clamp to the nerve, thus stopping their activity. The clamp exerts pressure on the nerve and the signals the nerve produces don’t reach the sympathetic nerve endings. This is method that has a positive effect in the sense that the sympathetic ganglia are not destroyed. This leaves the patient with the possibility of having the nerves reconstructed in the future by simply removing the titanium clamp.
Various forms of excessive sweating can be removed with this method. Selected segments of the sympathetic nerves are cut during this procedure. This leaves very little chances of a successful reconstruction of the nerves in the future.
The sympathetic nerves are surgically cut with electrocautery or surgical scissors. The difficult reconstruction of the nerves represents this method’s negative effect. ETS Insurance facts.
The variation of the levels of classification for ETS depends on the type of hyperhidrosis that the patient presents:
Facial Blushing is T2
Facial Sweating is T2 or T3
Hand Sweating is T3 or T4
Underarm Sweating is T4 or T5
Side Effects of Sympathectomy Surgery
Compensatory sweating is unpredictable and cannot be precisely identified before surgery. The intensity of this side effect varies from patient to patient. Many sympathectomy patients only experience very little moisture and sweating and hot weather seems to favor this phenomenon.
In spite of sympathectomy surgery side effects, most patients agree that they would rather experience compensatory sweating than the condition they had before surgery. Patients are willing to trade a more severe hyperhidrosis or extensive facial blushing for the effects of compensatory sweating. The number of patients experiencing aggravated forms of this side effect is low. In the cases where compensatory sweating is exceeding the expected levels, the titanium clamp may be removed. This reverses the surgery and the side effect diminishes in time. However, this operation must take place soon after the surgery, as after a few months the chances of reversing the operation are very low.
When the denervation area affected by the surgical procedure of sympathectomy is extended, the side effect of compensatory sweating also increase in intensity. The initial methods of performing sympathectomy implied that a large segment of the sympathetic nerves was cut. The side effects were also high, in accordance with the extent of the surgery. Modern methods greatly reduce the levels of compensatory sweating. The identification of specific hyperhidrosis conditions is now more accurate. By targeting the exact section of the sympathetic nerves, the surgeon doesn’t allow compensatory sweating to aggravate.
Successful treatment of compensatory sweating can also be achieved by the use of medication. Robinul and Ditropan are used to treat the side effect with good results. Several other side effects related to the sympathectomy surgery were observed with patients. Nerve damage is a possible risk, while bleeding and infection may also occur. Patients have also experienced post surgery rib pain and dryness of the hands or face. A decrease in the heart rate was also signaled by some patients. Other rare complications of sympathectomy include damage to the lungs and Horner’s syndrome. These are very rare complications as the new surgery methods have greatly improved over the years.
ETS Insurance Coverage
Some insurance companies consider treatment of intractable, disabling primary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) with Botox (botulinum toxin type A) or iontophoresis (electrophoresis, Drionic device) medically necessary when all of the following criteria are met:
* Topical aluminum chloride or other extra-strength antiperspirants are ineffective or result in a severe rash; and
* Member is unresponsive or unable to tolerate pharmacotherapy prescribed for excessive sweating (e.g., anti-cholinergics, beta-blockers, or benzodiazapines); and
* Significant disruption of professional and/or social life has occurred because of excessive sweating.
Insurance Coverage Beyond Botox and Iontophoresis
Insurance companies may consider the following surgical treatments for hyperhidrosis medically necessary for members who meet the above-listed criteria and have failed to adequately respond to treatment with Botox and Iontophoresis:
- Open thoracic sympathectomy
- Video-assisted endoscopic thoracic ganglionectomy (ETG)
- Endoscopic sympathetic ablation by electrocautery
- Chemical thoracic sympathectomy
- Thoracoscopic sympathectomy
- Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS)
- Video-assisted thoracic sympathectomy (VATS)
- Excision of axillary sweat glands.
- Lumbar sympathectomy
- Tumenescent liposuction for axillary hyperhidrosis
Alisha’s ETS Surgry
I had ETS (nerve cut) done in 1998 for my EXTREME hand sweating. This is my story. It represents my experience before and after ETS. Your experience may be different. My story may change your mind about going through with ETS or it may finalize your decision to get it done. In either event, please do your research and be informed before any decisions regarding hyperhidrosis are made!
I was 22 years old at the time of my ETS and felt my social life was greatly being affected by the sweating. My earliest memory of sweaty hands is when I was in 4th grade. I remember my teacher looking at me in disgust and in front of the whole class, sternly telling me to go wash my hands as if I had purposely drenched them! From that point on, I was made to wash my hands with soap and water each and every time I was working at my desk. We had a sink in our classroom, so everyone knew when I was at the sink washing, it was because my hands were sweaty! I was also required to keep a stack of paper towels at my desk to use so that the sweat wouldn’t absorb onto the paper that I would turn in. My mother took me to doctor after doctor looking for help. I was prescribed medications that made me drowsy, extremely thirsty, or spaced out – all without results. I was prescribed a drionic machine that burned my hands each time I used it (this was back in the early 80’s when technology with such machines wasn’t what it is now).
My teenage years were even more stressful. During a time when you’re already going through hormonal changes and trying to figure yourself out, I also had the stress of “hiding” my sweating secret. I didn’t have a boyfriend in high school. I had many boys ask me out on dates, but I always made excuses because I knew I’d be traumatized by any attempts to hold hands. Proms and Homecoming dances were the worst in high school! All the stylish dresses were strapless and my underarms were just as bad when it came to sweating. If I chose a dress with sleeves, the pit area of it would be completely drenched before I walked out of the house! Shoes? Forget about it! Socks and sneakers were the only thing I could wear! Sandals were out of the question and the rare times I wore heels, there were puddles of sweat in them by the end of the night! I remember I had to professionally dye a pair of heels in a burgundy color to match my homecoming dress. This was a mistake! By the end of the night, my feet had sweat so bad that it seeped through to the exterior of the shoes causing them to drip the dye!!!!! Everyone knew where I had been that night – all they had to do was follow the trail of burgundy dye on the gymnasium floor! Additionally, it took me more than a week to scrub the stained dye off the sides and tops of my feet!
Job interviews were the worst! Denim was the only article of clothing that seemed to “blot” the sweat from my hands, but who wears denim to a job interview?! I hated the unavoidable handshake only to have the hiring manager wipe his own hand on his pant leg afterwards. The person shaking your hand rarely says anything about your sweaty palm, but they notice and it’s that quiet awkwardness that intensifies the anxiety. One time, before walking into the building for an interview, I rubbed my hands all over my front tire until it was covered in black tire filth. When I walked into the building to meet with the interviewer, I showed him my hands and apologized to him for not shaking his hand until I was able to use the restroom to wash up. I told him the grime on my hands was from needing to put air in my tires prior to our scheduled interview. When I returned from the restroom with clean hands, they were a bit damp from them starting to sweat again, but at the very least, he would have thought the dampness was due to me having just washed my hands! Unfortunately, I had no excuse at the end of the interview when it was time to shake his hand again with sweat dripping from my own. Needless to say, I wasn’t offered the job.
By my early 20’s, I had had enough! Enough of the steering wheel slipping from my hands in the middle of a turn, enough of me dropping trays of food or beverages while working (I was a waitress), enough of being antisocial fearing I would have to shake someone’s hand, enough of being afraid to turn on or off a light switch in fear that it would electrocute me, enough of turning down dates in fear that he’d want to hold my hand, of wearing only denim, of not being able to raise my arms for fear of someone seeing my soaked pits, of not being able to go barefoot or wear flipflops in the Florida summer, and enough of not being able to live life freely without the constant efforts to conceal my problem. It was invading and ultimately destroying every facet of my life!! I researched for a cure and one day I finally found it! I was ecstatic! At the time and to my knowledge, there were only a few doctors performing ETS in the U.S., so in order to get the procedure done I had to fly from Florida to Houston, Texas. I didn’t care! I spoke to the physician, his office staff, received literature on the procedure itself, and booked an appointment for a consultation. The doctor warned me that ETS was only for extreme cases and he would be the one to determine if my condition was indeed extreme. I wasn’t at all worried whether I would be considered extreme. I knew I would be! Sitting in the exam room in Houston was exciting! When the doctor walked in for the first time, he extended his hand to shake mine and I immediately shook hands without hesitating because I knew this was all the proof he needed to determine I had an extreme case of hyperhidrosis! As my hand touched his, he immediately looked at me, smiled, and said, “You weren’t kidding!” It felt good to be understood! He said ETS would completely cure the hand sweating but only minimize the foot and underarm sweating. The next morning I was being rolled into the operating room and my life changed from that very moment!
I woke from the surgery and immediately noticed my dry, warm hands and feet! Unfortunately, the doctor came in shortly after I woke up and explained that he had “tweaked” a separate nerve and as a result, I had mild horner’s syndrome. I immediately asked for a mirror to see this “mild horner’s syndrome”. It was ghastly! My left eye barely opened, no matter how hard I tried! He assured me that it would get better with time. I spent nearly three months checking the mirror everyday for hints that it was getting better. He was right. It did get better. It soon returned to a state where it is now unrecognizable unless I’ve had one too many glasses of wine or if I’m extremely tired. Sometimes I can tell in photographs but no one has ever made a mention of my “little eye” (except those who know I have horner’s syndrome). I had moderate pain in my chest and it was difficult to take a deep breath for the first week after the surgery. Also, the incisions he made under my arms were a bit sore for the first week. I couldn’t believe the dryness of my hands!! Every so often, these phantom tingly feelings would occur in my hands, similar to how my hands would feel right before they would start to sweat. I would get nervous thinking the surgery was a failure, but my hands never would sweat! My feet and underarms, however, weren’t so lucky. They began sweating again a few weeks after the procedure but not as much or to the degree that they had beforehand. The moments of tingly-ness in my hands occurred for the first month or so after ETS. The only immediate downside (aside from the horner’s syndrome) that I noticed was constant dryness in my hands. I had to carry a travel sized bottle of hand moisturizer at all times for the first six months after ETS. This was nothing compared to the years of embarrassment I had endured with sweaty hands. That was until the compensatory sweating (CS) started. I can’t be certain, but I think it was somewhere between six months to a year after ETS that the CS started. It targets my torso, groin, and buttocks but only during high stress, anxiety, or extreme heat. Well, I live in Florida, so everyday is extremely hot! I have to be conscious of what I wear depending on the weather, the company, and my anticipated anxiety level or else I’ll have obvious and embarrassing sweat stains on my clothing as a result. When I’m around close friends and family, I don’t have CS. Nor do I have it when I’m at home doing my own thing. Right now as I type this, my body is completely dry from head to toe. Most times I won’t have CS, like if I’m running errands, out on the town with my husband, or doing anything that doesn’t require social or group interactions. Typically, it’s only when I’m around other people in a group setting that the CS starts. As soon as I remove myself from the group situation, the CS stops. Outdoor picnics or BBQ’s are a big trigger, especially here in Florida. The only advantage I have is that everyone sweats in humid 95 degree weather and it wouldn’t cause anyone to think twice if they noticed the back of my shirt wet with sweat during an outdoor event.
Around the same time the CS started, I started experiencing Gustatory Sweating (GS). For those of you who haven’t experienced this lovely phenomenon, it is sweating on the face while eating and it is most inconvenient when eating out in public places! I manage it by always keeping a napkin (preferably paper napkin) in my hand during the entire meal and frequently blotting around my mouth throughout the meal. Every third blot or so, I’ll blot my nose or forehead. I don’t find it to be too noticeable, especially if I time the blots when others are looking down at their own plates. Not to mention, I can always use the excuse that the restaurant is warm or the food is too spicy, which can both cause sweating. Again, and weirdly enough, GS only happens when I’m eating out with others in public! When I’m eating a sandwich in the comfort of my own home, I don’t get GS! Take note that I think my CS and GS are mild in nature. I am not at all downplaying those who have the severe and debilitating forms of CS. I can only give you my own experience and after reading so many testimonies, I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Unfortunately, there’s no telling where on scale of severity you’ll have CS and GS. It is pretty much guaranteed that you’ll get it, but it’s a gamble on how severe it will be. Aside from the horner’s syndrome, CS and GS, I have not experienced any other side affects. That is not to say that I won’t down the road. I am learning that side affects can pop up years after the procedure, so that is something I would keep in mind prior to deciding on ETS.
It’s been 13 years since my ETS for sweaty hands. Do my hands sweat? No. Do my feet? About 50% of the time. What about my underarms? About 50% of the time. Do I have CS & GS? Yes, it’s mild to moderate and occurs about 80% of the time but only in social settings. Is it invading and destroying my life like my sweaty palms did? Absolutely not! I take steps to conceal the CS with adequate clothing choices. Would I get ETS if I had it to do over again? Maybe, maybe not. I would look into non-permanent, non-toxic solutions first, but if I had exhausted all of them, I’m not sure if I’d do it again. I sweat on a larger surface of my body now, which is much harder to conceal in extreme, high stress conditions. Granted, it’s not often I’m in situations of high stress or anxiety, but the few times I have been (my wedding, parties where I’ve been the guest of honor, public speeches, or social gatherings, etc.) it’s more of an effort to conceal CS. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to not have CS and to have sweaty hands again. Sometimes I think I’d welcome a reversal and just be upfront with people before shaking their hand. Other times, especially when I’m not having CS, I like the feeling of feeling “normal” and sweat-free. There are no guarantees and I guess there are no complete happy endings with ETS. For now, I remain in the middle on ETS. Remember: only you can decide what is best for you. ETS is an elective surgery and it’s not without complications and/or side affects. You are your own advocate! Do your research, be informed, and weigh all options! Best wishes to you!
Below is Ian’s story – thank you Ian for sharing with everyone!
Hi everyone. Very pleased to have found this site. My story is probably quite similar to many others on here. I’m 31 years old, live in England on the East Yorkshire coast, and had ETS (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy) for excessive palm sweating on the NHS in April 1999, re-done May 2000 as both hands would still sweat profusely at times, and then a lumbar sympathectomy in May 2001 for excessive foot sweating.
Since early 2002, I’ve had severe compensatory sweating on my back, stomach, sides, and legs. Other surgery side-effects include: Heat intolerance – my whole body constantly feeling overheated, including my face, which leaves me always looking and feeling flushed.
- Lack of emotional feeling (for example unable to cry since the operations, even at funerals)
- Tiredness and severe loss of energy
- Weight gain (linked to loss of energy and inability to cope with heat I would say)
- Often feel dehydrated, no matter how much water I drink
- Burning feeling, especially in the back, but also stomach, chest, legs etc.
- Often feel faint because of heat intolerance, even in mild-cool weather
- Compensatory sweating makes everyday life extremely embarrassing/difficult. This has led to depression and very low self-esteem, morale and confidence (far worse than pre-surgery)
- Now sweat very little (much less than a ‘normal’ amount) from underarms, face, scalp, forehead and neck. Forehead gets very dry and itchy. Hands and feet are also extremely dry, even after a 60 minute treadmill workout.
I have tried so many things over the last twelve years, such as medications like Avert (Robinul), 1%, 2% and 3% Secure wipes (Robinul), aluminium chloride anti-perspirants such as Driclor, Odaban, and Sweat-Stop.
None of these medications really helped with things like CS (or when they did the side-effects were just horrendous). So, for the past seven years I’ve tried to just focus on doing everything I can to be healthy and support my nervous system as much as possible, in the feint, feint hope that I can help it heal and recover, to try and get some of my old self back.
I currently do tai chi, which is recommended for all kinds of things including nerve damage (and I’ve lost a stone in weight this year, so even if it’s not helping the nerves it’s at least helping with general health!), have acupuncture at a great Chinese medical centre, and take supplements in food form such as omega 3, 6 and 9.
I feel very hurt (even a little bitter if I’m honest) towards the NHS because I was referred by a dermatologist straight to a surgeon (at the age of fifteen) without ever being informed about botox, topical meds, oral meds, or iontophoresis. I’ll be convinced to my grave that iontophoresis, a prescription-strength anti-perspirant and some brief counselling (for the years of school-yard name-calling, bullying etc) would have solved my problems without the need for surgery, but hey I guess you can only act on the information presented to you at the time eh.
Anyway, my advice for anyone considering this surgery, would be to not go through with it. I genuinely feel like my quality of life was at least 10 times better sixteen years ago before any of the surgery. I miss days at the seaside in the summer, playing rugby on the hottest days, so so many things. Please try to be thankful for what you DO have, because believe me things can be so much worse.
Thank you to whoever runs the site for providing a place for ETS patients and interested people to share their stories and experience, it’s certainly a great thing, and I for one really appreciate it.
Tom’s Story on ETS Side Effects – February 2015
First of all, it really makes me happy to read everyone’s story about their sweating problems while growing up… it just feels reassuring to know people who underwent through the same things! Up until this point in my life, I’ve only known one other person who went through it, a girl I had one date with. It kind of came up in the conversation, and it was definitely plenty to discuss about and help bonding (She used botox, not going for the surgery). All of those times at school, where your hands get the papers wet, being unable to hold things for too long, being bad at tossing the ball because you have a hard time just holding it right… and most of all, the social situations, like field trips as little kids where you’re told to hold hands with one other kid to travel in pairs, and everyone’s reaction is “I don’t want to hold his hand, it’s gross”… These develop into social insecurities and lack of self confidence that would take many years to grow out of, if it’s even possible to do so, since the damage is already done and old habits are hard to get rid of…
My name is Tom, I’m 26 years old from Israel, and I did my surgery in August 2011, 3.5 years ago. When growing up, I kind of just accepted that there was no solution to my problem… at a later point, around high school, I heard of drionic, imported it (This was a few years before it became officially available in my country), and after many boring tries of just sitting there for one hour being unable to do anything since my feet and palms had to remain pretty motionless… Nothing happened. Sometimes I felt as if the sweating was lessened to a certain extent, other times I was convinced that it was merely my wishful thinking that made it feel so. After all, we’re probably all aware that thinking about sweating invokes that tingly feeling right before sweating, just after thinking to ourselves “Huh, I barely noticed that I was hardly sweating”…
Fast forward to the time of the surgery. When talking to the doctor, I was informed there were very few side effects… Mostly compensatory sweating, without knowing where it will pop up, and how this would also stop my sweating from the underarms, but not my feet – as that requires a different procedure that is not performed at the hospital for “cosmetic” needs and is part of a treatment to other symptoms, as the risk for dealing with the sweaty feet through said surgery is far greater than ETS for the sweaty palms. Any other side effect, I was told, is only the result of failures in the procedure itself. The surgeon I had was probably the best in this country, and my dad knew him, so I was alleviated by that factor…
After the surgery, I woke up and had to stay in the hospital for the night (The surgery was in the morning) for monitoring. At that time I didn’t really know what to think. The sweating had stopped, and it was weird thinking about it. I had some minor stitches in my underarm, but they were degradable. To this day, there’s hardly any scar, and one would have to know exactly what and where to look just to notice the minor cut shape.
For the several months afterwards, I had these “phantom” sweats… every so often, just like sweat would appear before the surgery, I had tingly sensations in my palms and felt as though I was sweating… Only to instinctively wipe my hands on my jeans, and realize there’s no sweat to wipe… It felt weird, but very pleasing, since it was a constant reminder that this thing that bothered me my entire life is now only a memory.
These phantom sweats stopped the more I was eventually used to the fact, and more aware of the compensatory sweat… I sweat about the same amount I used to sweat in my palms primarily in the lower back, and somewhat in the butt area. Possibly the feet as well, but I’ve grown so used to sweating from my feet, that I don’t give a second thought to returning home, taking off my shoes and see wet socks. And whenever I eat spicy food (And I love spicy food), I sweat from my forehead… This was kind of something I had taken for a given and felt as it was always the case, but after reading this page it kind of makes me feel like this may not have always been so. Also, I feel the need to drink a lot of water throughout the day, but this has been the case much before the surgery. I was always drinking far more than my friends and colleagues… now I just feel the need to do it instead of just doing it.
So basically, it seemed like I got a fairly decent trade… the problem that caused me great trouble growing up, and left me to this day insecure (It still appears in my body language… for instance, one hand grabs the other, as if to instinctively wipe the sweat on the back of the hand), has been replaced with an assortment of smaller problems that I’ve learned to deal with in different ways. My back is sweating? I usually wear an undershirt that absorbs a lot of it on hot days, and when it gets worse I bring some spare clothing and deodorant (Since the excessive sweating makes the deodorant wear off after a much shorter time when I still have social activities). The sweat from the but area is hardly visible when wearing Jeans, which luckily is the norm even at work areas. The gustatory sweat is just some “Haha, my body just isn’t that great with spicy food no matter how much I love it”, and I wipe it with my arm. Nobody makes a deal of it so neither should I feel embarrassed by it. If given a chance, knowing about these things… I’d definitely have chosen the surgery again.
So why am I typing here? Well, for one thing, it was mainly just to get it off my chest, and maybe make someone reading this nice with themselves as there’s one more person who shares their story…
The other reason is that in the past two months, around the time winter started, one more side effect popped up, and looking it up I came to this place only to realize that this problem truly is connected to that surgery. The problem is that my hands get cold really easily, and barely able to restore heat. Mainly the fingers. It kind of happens at the feet as well, but it’s a much lesser extent of troubling. Even after washing them with hot water, they get cold quickly once again. This mainly seems to occur when I’m idle at my home… when I’m out for the day, I don’t notice it. After I work out, it remains warm for a few hours (Even if I’m still wearing short clothing when it’s cold). And after a warm shower at the end of the day, the hands remain warm throughout the whole night. But this is still something that has me worried… I don’t know the extent of this, like will it occur in the hot summer as well? And most of all… what if other side effect begin to occur as the years go by, as I’m now learning happen to many more?
Hopefully, this long text on my experience with sympathectomy will help others looking for advice before going through this irreversible process. Me? I’d probably still prefer whatever it is I’m going through than what I suffered through for nearly 23 years. But the troubles are plenty, unique to each individual, and the way we handle them are entirely subjective… Regardless, surgery should definitely be the last option. Had I not exhausted other options like drionic, or deemed botox injections too expensive and likely not worth it (Since it would probably work very little if drionic can’t do anything), this option wouldn’t even surface in my thoughts.
Larry Simons says
I am an 82 year old American male who had an ETS at the age of around 18 while in the military.
I had the same experiences as others have written about their youthful hyperhydrosis experiences–“blotters” or paper napkins under the hand while writing in ink-not being able to shake hands or date a girl because of SEVERE wet, cold clammy hands-holding an empty glass under my fingers & dripping sweat into it-having a glass slip out of my hands-no dancing-etc.
I had EXTREMELY SEVERE hyoerhydrosis with both of my hands & with both of my feet. While in n the Naval hospital in Bethesda, for an unrelated matter, I was introduced to a neuro-surgeon whom I explained my situation to. He said to me that there was an EXPERIMENTAL-I emphasize the word EXPERIMENTAL procedure which had never been performed at Bethesda which he had info on. Would I be interested in having this procedure (ETS) performed on me for hands. I said YES-with no one explaining to me any negativeness about this procedure since, I guess, no one knew very much about it.
I had the surgery done in my back-entering below my shoulder blades-severing my ribs-putting a number of metal clips in my body cutting the symphathetic nerve. but only on one side of my body.
When that phase of the surgery was done, I was brought over to the NIH (Nat’l Inst. of Health) & put on display – ie: one completely dry hand and one profusely wet, sweaty one. Ultimately the other hand was done. I now had a new life !!!! Success !!!!!
Now we come to around 2014. I was having trouble walking straight & keeping my balance. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with ATAXIA-an incurable NEUROLOGICAL condition.
“The Finnish Office for Health Care Technology Assessment concluded………the ETS is associated with an unusually high number of significant immediate and long-term adverse effects” NOTE the words long-term.
“The method can give permanent side effects that in some cases will first become obvious only after some time.” NOTE the important words long-term.
“In 2003, ETS was banned in its birthplace Sweden, due to overwhelming complaints by disabled patients” NOTE the word disabled.
“Many sites try to avoid mentioning the poor success rates of ETS Surgery & horrible side effects that can be associated with this risky procedure” NOTE the word risky.
To those contemplating having ETS – Would I still undergo this surgery wondering if my ATAXIA is a result of some surgical mishap when I had my ETS years ago, resulting in the long term effect of my not being able to walk, run or stand?
Remember an ETS affects the nervous system & ATAXIA is a nervous disorder.
I had this sickening surgery done in 2005 by a doctor who didn’t tell me anything regarding side effects, nor did he ask if I had tried any conservative treatments first.
He pushed me to have the surgery the following week and took advantage of my youth as I was only 24 and naive right out of college thinking the dry hands from the surgery would increase my chances of looking like I wasn’t nervous in interviews …since the surgery I have experienced worse side effects with each passing year. The worst is the chronic back, shoulder and arm pain.
I’m very athletic but since the surgery my body can’t tolerate lifting weights like it once did. My body takes a lot longer to recover etc. other horrible effects on the body are too many to list.
I wish every day that I could go back in time and I often want to confront the surgeon that did this to me and show him how he has ruined my life!
Do NOT have this surgery!!!
So Sorry says
Some knew about the dangers of CS and still had the procedure. I have not had the surgery yet and my back, stomach, chest, groin, legs, feet, hands, and upper lip drip sweat profusely all the time and my hands and feet swell. For those of you upset about CS even though you knew what might happen, the best thing you can do is share your story so that others know what could happen.
Very interested to hear these stories and comments. My experience is that I had left and right cervical sympathectomies done at the age of 20, nearly 40 years ago, a long time before keyhole surgery. The 2 operations were painful and the scars ugly (4 inch straight lines above both top ribs) but the effects on my hyperhidrosis have been very good. My hands sweat only in very hot or very stressful situations, which I see as normal. I do get compensatory sweating and have to be careful what I wear etc, and also GS with spicy foods (which also perhaps comes within the bounds of normal.) I have never ever regretted having the operations despite these drawbacks. However, in the last 10 or so years I have developed extremely cold hands and pain/tingling/weakness in the arms wrists and hands. I don’t really know if this is connected to the operations but I suspect that it is. Has anyone else had similar effects?
To all those has have CS I give you a Christmas present that will solve your problems or reduce them since it has helped me manage CS after 20yrs post ETS.
This will also help men in a big way since it will prevent impotence as well since the solution relies on a multi-layer approach.
The primary source for hyperhidrosis is a genetic deformation of the hypothalamus gland which regulates the bodies core temperature. ETS must be used to stop or reduce nerve signals to those area that are over stimulated, but how does one overcome CS. CS is still a product of overactive hypothalamus but there is a way to reduce or even stop the additional sweating.
Professional athletes use a heat chamber to train the body to acclimate to hot temperatures. This acclimatization is what one need to undergo so that comes normal body response to elevated temperatures is not to sweat. One need to do this in two ways.
1: use a sauna….I go every 3wks.
2: exercise such as jogging.
Both the above raise you core temperature for long periods and train you body to used to hot environments.
The final piece came to me by accident since I had mild impotence from late 30’s…I am now 40.
I wanted to find a natural Viagra which would help me in the long term since impotence is am early warning sign of high cholesterol and clogged arteries.
So this was a key thing for me, which need urgent attention. Obviously women suffer from clogged arteries and high blood pressure so this will help females as well.
To combat impotence one need to eat healthy foods that Lowe cholesterol, lower blood pressure and repair on gains and arteries. This accomplished eating the following and mixing them to great a smoothy. I chop the food into fine a fine consistency so one can absorb the vitamins and minerals.
1: Ginger. Use 1stick or 0.5 stick. Remove skin and chop into small pieces.
Ginger stimulates the stomach and produces heat…this is lacking in CS sufferers due to sweating of the chest and stomach.
2: Garlic. Use 1 or 2 cloves. This is an anti-inflammatory.
3: Citrus fruit. Use entire lemon or lime. If you use an orange use 1/3 of the skin and the entire peeled orange. The lemon or lime MUST be used WITH the skin.
The skin is vital since it strengthen the wall of the vain and arteries.
These fruits are loaded with vitamin C and mineral that contact cholesterol and reduces blood pressure.
4: Pomegranate. Use seeds of 1 pomegranate.
Mix ingredients with boiling water to release the vitamins and minerals.
The smoothy in combination with sauna and exercise will reduce your CS. I have been doing this for the past 2 months with great success.
Note one should use organic citrus fruits since normal ones are covered with wax.
So good luck….this is the only thing that I know of that reduced my CS…..and I have been searching for 20 years.
Greetings.. On my 25th bday this year, I was contemplating getting the ETS surgery. I have tried everything from detail rolls, pills, Botox and even ion water machine.. My profession as a personal trainer has taught me that tracking and journaling everything is so important. . From the two years of consuming at least 50 ounces of water a day along with a multi-vitamin with iron; I have come to the conclusion that this really does help my Palmer and planter hyperhidrosis.. One thing I have noticed is when I use the ionto machine to stop my feet sweating, my hands don’t sweat as bad, this may be a coincidence but it’s worked for me. Glyccoplerate does work but only in high does… For me at least but the side effects aren’t worth it… Recently they have been using lasers and even liposuction for auxiliary hyperhidrosis, with great success. Hopefully in the future they will be able to use liposuction to remove seat glands from other places. In close from reading everyone of these posts I have decided to hold off on the surgery, and thank you fellow sweaters for sharing the truth behind the real ETS
I had the clamped version of the ETS in 2000. Like everyone else here, I was driven to the ETS decision because of the excessive sweating; in my case it was on my face & hands. I’ve been happy with the results post surgery but the CS does take some getting used to. It requires adjustments to lifestyle like knowing what to wear, bringing extra clothes (just in case). My torso right below my chest area sweats quite a bit when it’s hot outside or when stressed but still I prefer this inconvenience over what I had to deal with before. Also, the CS can be mitigated by avoiding certain foods & learning relaxation techniques. In short, I have no regrets with the ETS decision.
Sharon O says
I had an ETS in Israel around 1993 for underarm sweating. At the time I didn’t even know there were other options. My surgeon explained very little and basically said there were no side effects. The consultation took less than 30 minutes.
Fast forward 20+ years and here’s what I’m dealing with:
Harlequin syndrome, extremely cold hands, extremely dry hands and skin, lifeless, brittle hair and nails, GS, and the most frustrating: Inability to loose weight despite eating a 1200-1500 calorie diet and exercising regularly.
I really wish I did my research back then. I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it.
Does anyone had the clamps removed after 3 years from operation? I would like to do this but don’t know if it could help me. I’m lack of energy now and brain fogg very often, it’s hard to focus on things. Also depression and neurosis like in the same time. Please let me know if I could do something with that.
I had a Double Supraclavicular Thoracic Sympathectomy in Brisbane, Australia in 1989 when I was 17. This was because I had severe (palmar and plantar) hyperhidrosis. The surgery was successful in terms of stopping the sweaty palms, BUT I have a skin condition on my neck that came up a few years after the surgery and after 3 dermatologists and 3 plastic surgeons pumping steroids and into it and cutting it out (only to have it come back again) over the last 25 years I now realize it must have been caused by my DSTS operation. It is aggravated by caffeine and alcohol and presents as a reddish lesion on the centre of my neck (right where the knot of man’s tie would sit). Anyone had similar? What to do? Thanks
I had ETS surgery in June of 1999 with the hopes that it would cure me form the way my hands would sweat. I had it done in Toronto, Canada using clamps on the sympathetic nerve at the T3 level I believe. I was told that by using clamps if I didn’t like the side effects of compensatory sweating or any other effects I could simply have the clamps removed and everything would go back to the way it was.
The surgery did work for the hand sweating and I no longer sweat from my hands at all. My head and arms also stopped sweating. But I experienced severe sweating on the trunk of my body, as well as severe sweating on my buttocks, groin and legs. Because of this I decided to have the surgery undone in December of 1999 by having the clamps removed. But nothing changed… The side effects all remained.
I waited 4 years to see if things would change, but it did not. So I decided to get the ETS reversal surgery with Dr. Telaranta. Basically he cuts the sympathetic nerve at the site of the original surgery. He then harvests a intercostal nerve (from between the ribs) and uses it as a graft between the cut ends of the sympathetic nerve, with the hopes that the sympathetic nerve will regrow along the graft and sweating function will be restored.
I had this surgery done over 10 years ago and again this has changed nothing. In fact I may sweat a little bit worse than I did after the original surgery.
Sorry for the length of this post but I thought you might want to know the background I come from when I tell you, THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN MY LIFE.
My side effects include: extreme sweating on everything below the nipple line even in cool weather, very poor circulation, extreme fatigue, inability to cope with heat, brain fog, a real feeling of disconnect that is hard to describe, I find it difficult to grip anything due to the lack of moisture to my hands, and all of this has led to depression at various times of the year.
WORST DECISION EVER.
Please explore all options before you EVER even consider this surgery and even then I wouldn’t do it.
I just thought I would share my story about my excessive sweating.
So ever since I was about 10 my hands, armpits, and feet would sweat crazily. It got so bad that I didn’t want to shake hands with anyone, I didn’t want to hear light colored shirts (sweat showing in armpits), and I had a terrible self esteem. This continued until 2013. In 2013, my insurance covered Botox injections for my hands to stop the sweating. Not only were these extremely uncomfortable, I could not clench my hands and the sweat would still come! I tried this one more time and finally gave up on it. It was at this time I started researching other options and I found ETS.
I asked my doctor about it and flash forward to April 2015, the procedure was made. They deflated a lung and cut into both sides of my ribs to cut the nerves responsible for sweating. It has been over 3 weeks now and the compensatory sweating has been very minor. When I’m under stress, my hands, armpits, and feet remain dry, but my nose and lower back sweat a tiny bit. Nothing unmanageable and nothing crazy. I hope this effect lasts because I am looking forward to living the rest of my life out in happiness.
Hey everybody, god I’m so grateful for having found this website before I went through with my ETS. I am seriously reconsidering my decision now and will probably stick to searching for other treatments for the next few years at least (iontophorasis is the only one among the known methods I haven’t tried but they might think of somthing else, right? And I haven’t considered psychotherapy yet…
Smithd O says
I’ve been reading up on ETS and one thing that seems to be repeated over and over, is that you may solve the problem of sweating in one spot only to move the problem to another part of your body. Things can go bad in any surgery, but that last thing I need is to end up with sweating some place more obvious! What other solutions are there, preferably natural, that would allow me to stop the sweating once and for all?
I just had my ets surgery in 2014. Worst decision. I underwent this for palmar sweating. I woke up with horners syndrome even though the surgeon said he was no where near the t1 ganglion. This wasn’t really mentioned to me prior to the surgery that if could be a risk with today’s techniques. I have compensatory sweating back ,stomach, and legs.
Horners has made me depressed I no longer look the same. I used to have nice big eyes, now I look like I am constantly sleepy, or have been punched in the face. This is the worst thing to happen to a girl. All I have been told is wait 6 months to see if it permanent. I no longer go out and can’t wear eye make up as it looks lop sided. I don’t wear my hair up as it shows my eyes. ETS has ruined my life. I would rather sweaty hands as at least I can try hide that.
We’re in 2014 right has any one had VATS SURGERY done this year how have your hyperhidrosis improved any side effects let me know please as I really want to have the VATS surgery I am seriously fed up of my hand feet under arm sweating I can’t take it no more I can’t go anywhere do anything cannot enjoy my life at well.
I had successful ETS 14 years ago for hand and arms and suffer most of the CS body sweat side affects as others. I took RUBINAL before my ETS and ended up with a related dry esophogus swallowing problem that has morphed into Achalasia. I cannot eat without having liquid ready to swallow to help food go down. Sometimes food is stuck in my esophogus – the esphogeal sphincture will not open and the muscle swallowing action reverses and forces the food back up. Embarrasing yes but manageable if water is always handy. Dry fish and most meat is the worst. BE CAREFUL with RUBINOL.
As for the CS, I sweat through my clothes when hot or humid but have modified my wardrobe accordingly.
At this point I would have ETS again despite the side affects. My hands dripped. We all know how sweating hands engulfs your thoughts completely. I am over 60 now and life changed after ETS.
Jill Aue says
I have an ETS scheduled for June 6th this summer. This is the first forum I have found where people understand how awful and extreme hyperhidrosis can be. I have EXTREME sweating of the hands and feet. I cant shake hands, hold hands, wear sandals, or go barefoot. I have suffered from this for as long as I can remember. I now have a 9 month old baby and I just HATE holding her and getting her clothes drenched. After reading this forum I am so confused and don’t know if I want to continue with the surgery.
I have been reading that acupuncture can show results for hyperhidrosis, does anyone have any experience with this?
WARNING: I am an ETS victim, and have suffered with the horrific side-effects of this barbaric surgery for 18 years. I will tell you the truth about this surgery. The ETS butchers who perform this destructive mutilation of vital sympathetic nerves will never tell you this, because if they did, most of their potential ETS victims would realize how dangerous this “surgery” really is and not proceed with it!!
This surgery doesn’t just eliminate the body’s ability to sweat in the problematic areas of hyperhidrosis. This surgery will result in total upper body stoppage of sweating to include the arms, chest, upper back, shoulders, neck, and cranium.. In addition, the potential exists for severe thermoregulatory dysfunction/corruption because of peripheral vasoconstriction of peripheral arteries in the denerved regions!!!
I wish I had died on the operating table than to have experienced the daily pain associated with ETS side-effects. The thermoregulatory corruption/dysfunction caused by this barbaric procedure is like a living-hell on earth!! My lower torso and legs routinely overheat as if I am in a 150F sauna..this surgery is slowly killing me, as I can no longer tolerate the insanely abnormal/intense/painful overheating.
Please, do not have this surgery. If I can save one person from the living hell that is ETS, my suffering is not totally in vain.
I want to thank each and everyone of you for sharing your experiencing following the surgery. I had mine 23 years ago and every summer I check online to see if there has been any medical break through in reversing this surgery. It is a very private problem that can’t be understood unless you experience this first hand. I can continue to survive with what appears a normal life but always wonder how much happier I would be if it could all be reversed. God Bless all of you for sharing your experiences and I hope all of you that are experiencing the same obstacles as myself find the peace we all deserve.
I had ETS surgery in 2001 for sweaty palms with Dr. Reisfeld in Beverly Hills. My insurance covered the cost. Although now in 2012 my hands are still completely dry, the side effects have been HORRIBLE to say the least.
My hands would pour of sweat before meetings or having to shake hands. When not pouring, always clammy.
NOW, my side effects since the surgery which I didn’t have any problems with prior:
– hands are super dry. I carry lotion with me to continually moisturize them.
– Sweat profusely on my chest, lower and upper back anytime when walking a bit or after a shower. On warmer days, I live near the ocean so it’s cooler, I sweat even on cold days!
-Sweat on my face when eating just about anything
-My clothes get wet and smelly from the sweat.
-My armpits sweat horribly
-My feet sweat constantly now & destroy all my shoes and cause odor that I’ve yet to find a solution for. Even in flipflops, same problem!
–Although my hands are dry and I can shake hands all day long, I would rather have tried everything else than this surgery. DON’T DO IT!
I’m a social person by nature, but I avoid it as much as possible due to these side effects which cause extreme embarrassement to me. I can’t enjoy myself because instead of enjoying the company, I’m using all my energy and focus on making sure no one can smell my soaking feet or see my sweaty body. The nightmare is when some homes require you to take your shoes off. I leave wet marks on their wood floors!
For all of you that have had a terrible end experience after ETS surgery I feel truly sorry for. After reading all of your horror stories I feel very blessed to have had amazing success with mine! I had my surgery in 1996 when I was 15 years old, in Australia, for my severe palmer hyperhydrosis. My hands to this day remain dry, but not too dry. I have mild compensatory sweating mostly in the face, but I only get this when humidity levels are high. 90% of the time it doesn’t affect me at all. Having the surgery changed me not only physically but emotionally too. I acquired way more self confidence in my personal and professional life.
I am now contemplating a Lumbar Sympathectomy for plantar hyperhydrosis.
Has anyone out there had this surgery? Can you please share your story?
First off… WOW! I can’t tell you all how happy to know that there are others out there with my same issue.
I’m 33 years old and growing up I also was so embarrassed about sweaty my hands got. I always had to fold a bunch of papers and put them under my hand, just to not ruin my paperwork/test. I only came across this website after recently having some left chest pain. I thought that I pulled a muscle on the lake, but am now thinking it might that my left titanium clip shifted.
I got my surgery back in ’99 when I was in the air force. I was in Intel and dealt with top secret imagery. The military performed the surgery for free because I think they felt they spent enough on training me… Didn’t wanna waste more with my sweaty hands ruining the film. The results were this:
13 years later my hands still do not sweat. Initially my underarms quit sweating but after a year or so my right armpit started sweating again, my left still barely. I am now a cop in Vegas (which gets 110+) and can say I now face a new embarrassment. My belly/back/butt/groin sweat EXTREMELY bad when I get hot. To the point of having to change uniforms twice/three times a day in summer. My head also sweats EXTREMELY bad when I eat ANYTHING . I can eat freaking icecream and sweat. Would I do it again ? Probably… I think nothing compares to the embarrassment I….. We faced growing up. I just pray this isn’t generic for my son (who’s in kindergarten ). I hope this chest pain isn’t related… Either way I’ll try to save this site and update after I see a DR for chest XRays.
I had ETS surgery nearly 2 years ago when I was just 21 years old. I suffered from severe facial blushing which was ruining my life. Since the operation I have some CS but its not too bad compared to the blushing before, my blushing has completely gone. So from this point of view I am very happy. However I would like to let you all know that during my op the surgeon was just finishing and turned me over and I went into cardiac arrest!
My family were phoned and told they had to get to the hospital as fast as they could because they were losing me. I was in cardiac arrest for 48 minutes and was shocked 5 times until they finally got me back. I was then put in an induced coma for a week and my family were being prepared for me not making it or having brain damage. However a was woken up after a week and was able to respond. Since then I have had problems with my sight and and several blood clots in my arms. I believe to be as a result of the surgery because I was a completely healthy and fit person before hand.
However I want to make it clear to everyone that despite everything I have been though as a result of ETS surgery I think if I went back I would take the risk again. I know you might be thinking you are mad but I know how I felt before I had it done and I would not like to go back to that.
I had surgery performed about 8 years ago to get rid of my sweaty hands. I made sure that I found a reputable Dr. referred by another doctor and at a reputable hospital (U of Michigan).
The results…my hands never sweat anymore and my underarms (which really weren’t a problem) barely sweat. Most weeks I don’t even use underarm deodorant but once or twice.
The bad…I now live in the SW where temperatures regularly get to 110 degrees. Yes…my chest and back sweat excessively in this heat. For me I’m sort of OK with this although I am definitely conscious of the sweating, especially as-crack sweat…yuck. But I am also in a profession where I am constantly shaking hands. I would sit in meetings and instead of focusing on the meeting subject, I was focused and was dreading the end of the meeting where we would shake hands. The more I thought about it, the worst it got. I sat on my church board and would make up an excuse to leave before the end of the meeting where we all held hands and prayed. My pastor would make a comment about my sweaty hands. Niiiice pastor!
The worst side effect for me though is chronic muscle soreness at my shoulder blade and rhomboid areas. Damaged and scarred muscle tissue from the surgery has cost em a fortune in massages.
Would I do it again? It’s easy to forget how embarrassing it was to have such sweaty hands when you don’t anymore, but the side effects suck as well. If I had to endure sweaty hands again I would wish I had the surgery all over again. When I have the surgery I wish I didn’t have the side effects and wonder what it would be like to have sweaty hands again. It’s a vicious circle with no perfect answer. I’m probaly 60%-40% glad I had the surgery. The final decision is which discomfort you would rather live with because neither is perect or desirable.
Good luck with your decision!!
I have excessive sweating on my face, neck, and chest. i have tried everything and it will not stop. I even sweat in the shower it is horrible. To try to get ready to go somewhere is useless, I am covered in sweat before I get out of shower and to put makeup on or try and dry my hair I just give up.
I have to change clothes so many times and end up still with sweat pouring down my face neck and my chest and back has my clothes soaking wet. I need help so bad, I don’t know what else to do but don’t want the side effects of surgery.
MY LIFE IS A HELL!!!
I’m always depressed,I have been suffering palmar, plantar, axillary and facial hyperhidrosis. Even I’m only 100 lbs,I would still sweat most especially on my palms and feet EVERYDAY. So now that I am 23yrs old I’m really so desperate to have that surgery and I don’t care what the side effects are. I would rather choose to die than to suffer this condition my whole life. I AM DAMN SERIOUS!
I am suffering from underarm sweating for more than 10 years. Started when i was 14 (26 now). I tried to cope with it by selecting clothing what would cover it up. It was getting really bad. I was choosing my work places based on the uniform since I couldn’t wear most of them. I had sweat rolling down my body from my armpits. It gave me hysterics, depressions and was murdering my self esteem.
I tried all imaginable deodorants, pills, medical test trying to fix it and/or determine where the problem is coming from. Apparently it is a social thing where I get too nervous around other people. Then I found out about BOTOX. I am from Canada, my work benefits cover the cost of the drug. The only thing I have to pay is the fee doctor charges for injections ($23o). It worked really well for me for some time but then the amount of time drug worked started decreasing. First time effects lasted for 4 months, then 3.5 months, now after 8 procedures it barely lasts for 2 months. I started with 2 ampules and finished with 4. I know that I could push my luck with BOTOX maybe couple more times before it will stop working for me.
I always had other sweating problems with my feet, palms, back, area under my breasts. These problems do give me occasional discomfort but nothing I can’t deal with. After my first treatment I noticed that all of those areas got worse. In addition to CS, another side effect was mild dehydration. I guess even something like BOTOX can cause CS.
But nothing beats the comfort of dry underarms.
I probably could have dealt with the problem of finding appropriate clothing all the time. I couldn’t deal with the nasty feeling of dumpiness and constant chills it gave me. I was always cold and shivering. I have a feeling that aspect made my nervousness even worse. I am sure that most of the people who have the same problem would understand me completely.
I am seriously considering ETS. I am able to hide my current CS quite successfully. After having a taste of how it can be without serious underarm sweating I am determined to try something, anything to be dry.
I heard about other procedures like gland liposuction of a sort and Renee mentioned something about laser procedure. Please share any information you might have regarding these procedures!!
I haven’t read all of the comments on this page but most of them. I noticed that most of you guys are talking about about palm sweating problems. If anyone out there is dealing with problem similar to mine, please comment. I really want to find out more.
Overall I found all comments very helpful.
I sincerely wish you all the best of luck in trying to overcome your difficulties.
I had ETS surgery done almost 2 years ago now. The main reason I had it done was for armpit sweating. My doctor threw all these high success rates during our consulations and because I was so desperate to get it done I believed him and a month later I was in surgery.
I still sweat on my armpit and now I sweat in place that I never did before (feet, groin, back and chest). I have since been back to see my doctor and all he could say is ‘I’m very sorry, but I did give you the statistics’.
I have recently been feeling like I am short of breath and when I move my chest side to side, a wheezing noice comes from my throat… Does anyone else have this problem??? Is it anthing to do with the surgery??? HELP!!!
Whatever you do, do not get this surgery!!! Please know (as I sit here on oxygen support) that ETS surgeons are some of the biggest low-life lying scumbags you will ever meet! These doctors won’t tell you how many patients they’ve turned into cripples for some cash in their pockets! If you want to destroy your health and your body, trust an ETS surgeon!! I am 30 years old, it’s been 6 years since ETS surgery, and my health (heart, lungs, CS) just gets worse and worse. DO NOT TRUST THESE LYING EVIL ETS SURGEONS!!!! THEY WILL STEAL YOUR YOUNG LIFE FROM YOU!!!
I am really considering this surgery. I have tried all of the other methods to include Botox which didn’t work. I’m just so confused about this surgery but I’m desperate for some relief. Some people have really good success stories, while others regret their decision. I am 27 years old and sweat has affected me for as long as I can remember. I’ve even switched church’s because I was too embarrassed every time the pastor would ask everyone to join hands. I now go to a church that I really don’t enjoy but at least I don’t have to worry about people feeling nasty after holding my sweaty hands. my feet sweat all day every day regardless of temperature. I can’t wear any cute shoes or sandals because my feet swell up and slide to the front of my shoes due to the extreme moisture. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had the ETS surgery when I was in high-school about 8 or 9 years ago. I have suffered from Hyperhidrosis my whole life, mainly the worst in my hands, feet, and underarms. The surgery was successful in my hands but my feet are way worse, sweat profusely, and are actually hot and red to the touch and swollen most of the time.
My hands have just started turning red, getting extremely hot to the touch, and swell. I have a feeling this is a side effect of the surgery. I have problems regulating body temperature, I am hot all the time, and I have had problems with asthma, allergies, and swelling of my hands and feet since the surgery.
I have the compensatory and gustatory sweating. Gustatory sweating is sweating when you eat food. I sweat when I eat anything, even when I drink beverages such as juice, alcohol, wine, or anything fruity. I even sweat when I eat candy. It is very annoying but I would never go back to sweaty hands. I just hope the sweating in my hands never return because if it does, I will regret the surgery.
As of right now I wouldn’t change anything but the side effects are life effecting and life changing. I am currently on anxiety meds because of anxiety and depression, and I have other complications in my feet and hands that I deal with. I am never cold, and my hands and feet never seem to be normal when it comes to temperatures. AND TO YOUR COMMENT, GABBY, THIS IS A NERVOUS SYSTEM DISORDER, I DO NOT KNOW WHERE YOU GOT YOUR INFO FROM BUT I HAVE UNDERGONE THE ETS SURGERY, AND HAVE HAD NERVOUS SYSTEM ISSUES EVER SINCE. UNTIL YOU EXPERIENCE FIRST HAND THE EFFECTS OF HYPERHIDROSIS, AND HOW MISERABLE IT CAN BE, YOU CANT DETERMINE THAT THIS IS MAINLY JUST HORMONAL BECAUSE IF IT WAS, THEN I WOULDN’T BE SWEATING PROFUSELY IN -12 DEGREE WEATHER IN THE WINTER HERE IN MINNESOTA, AND WHEN I AM DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. ALSO, HOW IS THIS HORMONAL WHEN I HAVE HAD HYPERHIDROSIS SINCE BIRTH? OBVIOUSLY MY HORMONES WERE NOT FULLY DEVELOPED WHEN I WAS A TODDLER.
I remember not being able to button up my coat, or even sign a piece of paper when I was younger because of the sweat pouring off my hands….I just needed to get that out there because I took great offense to your comment. From a hyperhidrosis and ETS surgery sufferer to the next, I know how you feel, and you are not alone. I will keep you posted.
Thanks for reading.
I’m facing a problem with a facial blushing, my face and my ear getting red and the temperature increase until sweating like someone run for 10 miles. omg it’s horrible and make me nervous when i talk to a stranger or when talking in public.
I’m 29, and I’m facing this issue since i was 27. After reading all these comments and side effects I’m afraid to do the ETS. Thank you everybody for your comments and advices. and I’m going to try some medicines you mentioned .
So i have sweating very badly in my hands, and not as bad in my feet and armpits, but still there. I am 15 and I am seriously considering the surgery because i am very self conscious about my sweating. I cant shake peoples hands, high-five, or hold hands on dates. Idk what else to do. I am going to try Maxim, but if that doesn’t work should i get the surgery or are the side affects THAT bad?? My sweating doesn’t occur in high pressure public situations or anything, it happens anywhere even at home, it could be snowing and they would still be clammy. I am actually very confident besides the sweating so its nothing like that. is there anyone that got it that has the sweating randomly with NO cause like me? Because I’m thinking the CS will be less if its just random sweating like me?? Anyone with the same experience that can help me? Even my friends will touch my hands and be like eww thats gross when they know i have it. Idk what else to do its embarrassing and its the only thing bringing my confidence levels down.
Catharine Kulk says
I had my symphatectomy done 48 years ago. I was 16 years old.
It was not done because of excess sweating but poor blood circulation.
Nobody ever told me about the side effects, the terrible sweating all over the body except the neck and face.
I really don’t think I needed it, but the doctor probably liked to try this then, new surgery, out for selfish reason.
It was done in Holland at the time, now I live in Australia.
Another side effect with for me was a constant blocked nose, I had to use nose drops since the surgery, and I still do, probably until I die.
I have the same problem as everybody else, problems with closes, try to wear no colors because of the whet pages everywhere.
I’m lucky it never smells, exercise in the heat is hopeless but necessary , it takes a long time to recover because of the excess sweating.
At least it feels good to know that I’m not the only one who is suffering from this medical mistake, they should ban it everywhere in the world.
In the mean time we live on, and try to enjoy my live for what it is, but as soon as I will hear of a cure I will be the first to have it done, as long as they tell me what can go wrong, I know now what I have, but not what I will get.
john doe says
does it affect physical activity? like because of the surgery is it harder to run?
I wrote on this forum a little while back in August and found some things to help reduce compensatory sweating and foot sweating that i really want to share. I think i got the ideas off of this cite. There is a roll on salt based deoderant called Maxim which i put on before i got to bed at night about twice a week now. At first you will have to apply more often. I learned of it from this website and it has been a godsend. Since it is not alcohal based it does not irritate your skin as much. It only itches sometimes and just for a little time after you apply it at night. It has greatly reduced my torso sweats. Just dont give up and give it a little time to work. Just google it and the website comes up. It is not too expensive either. Also there is a foot spray called Klima which i have tried and it has reduced my foot sweating a little but not dramatically.
I hope you try them and dont give up! It took me a LONG time to find something to work after many failed attempts. I also stopped acupuncture treatment because it was kind of expensive and it was not really working for me. Thanks, and Good Luck!
You didn’t mention the side effects Honor, they are usually so bad that you are left worse off than not having the surgery, or simply moving the problem from one area of the body (like the hands) to another, the buttock for example. If you review the internet for ETS success rates, you’ll find it’s horrible along with a ton of complaints. ETS HAS SEVERE RISKS AND THERE IS NO GUARANTEE!
Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) changed my life. I profusely sweated from my earliest childhood memory until I had the surgery at 45 yrs. It was like being cured of a life of leprosy. Ten years later I am still amazed I can take someone’s hand and not slime them, I don’t have to worry about slipping when I walk in bare feet, paper does not wilt in my hand, and the car steering wheel does not slip away from me on hot days. ETS has allowed me to normal, and that is phenomenal!
H.H. – I just read your message and have a few comments:
1. I don’t believe doctors even offer ETS for generalized hyperhidrosis. Everything I’ve read says it has to be a primary place (hands, feet, armpits or blushing).
2. The surgery is ABSOLUTELY NOT REVERSIBLE. This applies to both the cutting method and the clamping method. If it were reversible, don’t you think all these people posting the awful stories would just reverse it…
You mentioned where would the sweating go and it would be better than talking to someone at a social event and dripping with sweat. believe me, with the ETS you will be dripping with sweat even before you arrive to the social event. And because you mentioned social event, maybe it’s some type of social anxiety causing you to sweat. Maybe that’s something you could look into. Anti anxiety medications might be a place to start?
I’ve read a lot of stories on sites that have spent more than 7 years discussing/researching reversals and the possibilities there, and nothing has really come out of it.
I really hope you find something that helps, but the surgery isn’t your answer.
I am a 25 yr old male who had ETS surgery for hand, armpit sweating and blushing 4 years ago. IT WAS THE WORST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE!! I could probably write a book here, but will keep it as short as possible.
The first thing I want to say is that the negative side effects didn’t really start until 6 months after the surgery. The days and months immediately after the surgery I couldn’t have been happier.
After 6 months everything started to get worse, and hasn’t let up. Having said that, I would take any comments made from people who had the surgery within a year of their writing with a grain of salt, as their side effects likely haven’t fully started.
The first and primary side effect is compensatory sweating. My torso will sweat doing any activity. Just walking a few minutes and I will soak through multiple shirts. This isn’t in 100 degree weather, it’s anytime. I often work in NYC and will always voluntarily wear a suit to work, as it is the only way to hide sweat coming through my dress shirt.
For those of you familiar with NYC, I take the air conditioned train to Grand Central and walk 2 blocks to the office. This is dream commute for many. I remember taking the subway and walking 20 blocks to work before the surgery. Now, I could never imagine that. I would show up and it would look like I jumped in a pool with my clothes on.
Since the surgery I have moved both my apartment and job to Westchester, that way I can drive and make my life a little easier. Most 25 yr olds love the city, I now hate it as a result of this surgery. I use to think showing up to work with sweaty hands was awful, now I show up with my shirt completely wet. My old condition was nothing compared to this.
It’s much easier to hide having sweaty hands and pits than it is to hide your entire body! If the temperature rises about 70 degrees, I will constantly sweat while doing no activity at all. Someone mentioned dipping your shirt in a bucket of water and walking around in it. That is a great description. If you want to experience compensatory sweating, put your shirt in a bucket of water and walk around like that. The only difference is it would eventually dry for the person without compensatory sweating.
The only time I am comfortable is sitting completely still in a temperature under 70. Imagine not being comfortable just hanging around outside, throwing a baseball, riding a bike, etc. The compensatory sweating is a real problem and not something that should be taken lightly. One other problem is the time that it takes your body to cool down after doing an activity (again, I use activity as meaning doing something as simple as walking).
Usually a person who starts to sweat will begin to stop sweating once that activity is over. Once I am done with the gym, it literally takes 1 to 2 hours until I stop sweating from my torso. This is even after a cold shower. Your body just can’t cool off. I think I’ve beaten a dead horse, but you get the idea, the compensatory sweating is unbearable.
The second side effect is gustatory (face) sweating. This happens when I eat anything. My face and neck start to sweat. This isn’t a good refreshing sweat like when you would workout, its a slimy type of sweat. It’s tough to explain, but a few of you probably know what I’m talking about.
I remember reading before the surgery about how unlikely gustatory sweating is, and how it only happens for eating spicy or hot foods. I assure you, it’s any type of food, not just spicy or hot foods. Another side effect is the memory issues. I feel that my memory has really deteriorated as a result of the ETS. There are no real ways to describe or quantify this, this other than just saying my memory isn’t there.
I am a 25 year old male, 5’9 and 150 lbs, so it probably isn’t health reasons for my sweating. I totally stopped drinking coffee and alcohol, which has not seemed to help.
As a result of this surgery I just come home everyday and don’t look forward to going out or doing anything with friends because I know how uncomfortable the compensatory sweating will be. The doctor who performed this surgery is the Chief Thoracic Surgeon of a large hospital and he was been anything but helpful when I ask him for advice. He eventually prescribed a pill that I took for a few months (sorry, I don’t remember the name) but it just gave me dry mouth and didn’t help with the CS.
I really urge people to not have the surgery. I realize that hand sweating, armpit sweating, foot sweating and blushing is uncomfortable and nobody likes it, but I guarantee that it is better than the side effects you will have from ETS. Oh yeah, and as far as the minimally invasive surgery, I have 2 scars on each side of my chest that are about the size of a quarter and have not gone away in nearly 4 years. Key hole incision my ass.
If this stops even one person from having ETS than I will he happy. I would literally give every cent I make for the rest of my life away just to have my old hyperhidrosis back.
Why this surgery is still allowed in the U.S. is beyond me. Hopefully someday I will be able to change that.
Hyperhidrosis Support says
Oh Katie, you poor thing,
ETS is such a drastic treatment and there’s so much can go wrong. ETS has been banned in Sweden (it’s birthplace) because it’s efficacy and medium to long term prognosis is so bad. Only a small percentage of ETS patients have no side effects – but as the technique hasn’t been around for long, it’s not known whether there is anything else that will be affected in the future. The nerves are connected to some of our major organs and there will be a reason for that, we just have to wait and see.
In the image at the top of this page, you can see what is called split body syndrome or Corposcindosis which can be made worse by ETS.
The good thing is that there are so many things you can do to help alleviate your Compensatory Sweating (CS). Please look through our website and you’ll find a number of ways to address this, not to mention a great support group 🙂
I am 15 years old and had ETS surgery in september of 2010 for palmer hyperhidrosis (hand sweat). I also have underarm and foot sweat. When i first got the surgery i thought it was the answer to all of my problems.
Well, i found out about 6 months later that it might not have been as wonderful as i thought. That was when the compensatory sweating began. I would literally drench clothing, it was AWFUL. I got the surgery done to stop my hand sweat and stop my depression and fear of ANY social situation such as school. Now about 10 months later i don’t really know if it was my best decision. Of course i would never like to go back to my dripping, wet, sweaty hands, but the compensatory sweating has really affected me.
I am seeing a psyciatrist for depression and anxiety and am currently taking antidepressants. I am trying anything to treat my compensatory sweating. I currently am trying acupuncture and am seeing a slight improvement but it is hard to tell. Please don’t take my word on the acupuncture research first and make sure to get someone qualified to do it. So i am still holding back from attending social situations and dreading school in August.
I recommend to researching a lot before getting the surgery, i don’t think i regret it but it has its side effects.
Thank you very much for all you comments as they have been helpful.
The pattern I am seeing from all the comments is that those that had ETS for palmar, axillery, feet or facial – all specific areas -have had a terrible experience with ETS. Those that had ETS for generalized hyperhydrosis- all over the body- have had a positive experience.
My situation is this- I have facial (front/back), neck, chest, back (top and bottom), underarm sweating. I have tried oxybutin, propanol, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathic and homeopathic remedies. nothing has worked. Hyperhidrosis affects every aspect of my life. I live in toronto CANADA and summers get very hot and humid.
My question is where would the compensatory sweating go? to my legs? feet? These are things I can live with i suppose. Its better than talking to someone at a social event and dripping with sweat. It won’t get one many dates thats for sure!! 🙂
I would truly appreciate speaking to someone who has had the same symptoms and have gone through surgery. It just seems that those with specific areas of sweating have had a very bad experience.
The other advantage of the surgery is that it is reversible right? Thats what all the websites say.
All things considered I think the surgery would be beneficial for me based on the above reasoning. I would love to hear from anyone.
Thanks to all
Alisha’s story of her ETS Surgery was moved from the comment section to the top section of this page so that it always remains on top.
Thank you so much for sharing Alisha!
ciao a tutti io ho rimosso le clip dopo un anno dalla loro installazione.
ora a distanza di 2 anni la condizione generale e un po’ migliorata pero’ ancora certo non si puo dire che vada bene.
Stavo cercando qualcuno che come me a effettuato l’inversione rimozioni clip da qualche anno e sapere il suo decorso di recupero spero che qualcuno mi possa dare qualche risposta ciao
S Hutchison says
I had an Upper Thoracic Sympathectomy done for palmar sweating when I was 13, I’m now 55. My doctor made the surgery sound like a walk in the park, IT WAS NOT. I was hospitalized for almost a month and left with two horrific scars. At first it seemed like it was all worth it, but as time elapsed side effects began to appear none of which my surgeon mentioned.
The sympathectomy permanently damages the temperature regulatory system.
Severe compensatory sweating from my nipple line down making warm to hot humid weather unbearable.
Hands too dry, no moisture at all losing the ability to grip anything
I get easily dehydrated which brings on all sorts of other problems, fainting, dizziness, not to mention
having to be careful of heat stroke…..
Heart related issues with physical activity
Raynaud’s in my fingers in winter – colder weather
Vasoconstriction in hands
Tingling in hands
I have a list of other problems that can be traced back to this surgery. It is a barbaric procedure that should be banned like it has been in Sweden where it originated. My life has been ruined and no one wants to take responsibility. Where is our government (Canadian)?
If you or anyone you care about is contemplating this surgery please do your homework and ask questions..talk to those of us who have had it done…..don’t go solely on the word of your doctor.
Having this procedure done may just be the BIGGEST MISTAKE of your life.
J Smith says
I am a 37 year old male – I had the clamp ETS procedure done about 2 to 3 months ago for palmar hyperhidrosis. Overall, I am pleased with the surgery, but I am taking the opportunity to make more improvements in my life in other areas, namely how I react to stress and anxiety, which in turn is affecting how, when, and to what degree I experience Compensatory Sweating.
I am assuming you’re reading these posts and look at this site because you’d like to be informed about the procedure. The people on these posts who rant and rave about how all the surgeons who do ETS are just in it for the money, and they lie to everyone – I don’t believe they’re doing anyone justice. What I learned the most through my research and experience: EVERYONE’S SITUATION IS UNIQUE. I hope to help your research through information, not by simply telling you what to do or not do. That is your decision. Also – the doctor can only tell you the side effects they’re aware of. And not everyone experiences the same side effects, nor to the same degree. Some people respond better, some respond worse. I believe many of the people on here ranting about NOT having the surgery were unfortunate extreme cases.
There are two primary types of hyperhidrosis – and WHEN you experience sweating is an indication of which type you have. My hand sweating was made worse in situations of anxiety or nervousness. I never had sweaty hands as I lay in bed, for instance, but in business meetings or holding a date’s hands in the movies – WHOAH!!! I could leave puddles.
Since the condition is a result of the overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system and ganglia; your mind can make it worse. I’m sure most of you had your sweating triggered by situations of anxiety or discomfort. The surgery will NOT CHANGE HOW YOU RESPOND TO ANXIETY AND NERVOUSNESS. The surgery just stops the specific area from sweating – my hands in my case.
This surgery is a PHYSICAL solution to a MENTAL problem – and your physiological condition of the overactive sympathetic nervous system makes the symptoms of your anxiety worse – excessive sweating. If you suffer from anxiety before the surgery, you will still suffer from it after your surgery. Also – those situations that caused your sweating BEFORE the surgery will likely be the same situations that will trigger your Compensatory Sweating. I believe you need to solve BOTH problems in order to be satisfied with your life after surgery.
A few things I wish I could have prepared myself for before the surgery:
– my heart rate has slowed slightly – this obviously has some effects, but not severe. I have not noticed all of the other problems other people have posted like depression or erectile problems.
– my hands are dry. Bone dry. Of course, after 37 years of sweaty hands, I know the surgery worked. BUT – I did not consider things like poor grip. With dry hands, and absolutely NO moisture on my hands, I have no friction between my skin and what I need to pick up. For a while, I was the clumsiest person around, dropping wine glasses, my cell phone – anything smooth and dry required a much different grip.
– I do need to moisturize my hands frequently. This also helps with my grip.
– I need to drink a LOT more water. I can easily get dehydrated when my Compensatory Sweating is severe, or after heavy gym sessions.
– My gym activity has been changed slightly, but not drastically. I’m just really starting to get back to the gym after my surgery. The fact that I sweat on my feet, legs, and stomach and back, but not at all on my head is pretty funny, actually. After about one month of heavy gym activity, I’ve started to sweat on my scalp, but still nothing on my forehead and face.
– I used to sweat profusely on my head and face – I don’t anymore. This was a benefit of the surgery. I used to have to wipe my forehead frequently in public, in conferences, seminars, etc. Yes, I sweat on my chest, stomach, and back, but it’s actually less bothersome to me since no one can see it – well, usually no one can, depending on what I wear.
I have not experienced a hot humid summer yet after my surgery – I have a few months to prepare. I am not looking forward to it, but I know I will get through it. I hope to have the mental solution to my problem solved by then. That said, if you can plan your surgery in the summer months, I would recommend considering it, just so you can quickly determine the extent of your CS and reverse the procedure if necessary (provided you use clips and not the actual cauterization). If you have yours in, say, November as I did, too many months will have passed until you may find out your CS is bad in the summer – too many months for any clip removal to be successful.
Overall, the surgery was a quick solution to my hands – something that was important for me. I believe I can deal with the side effects more easily, and with less anxiety (worrying about whether I was going to have to shake someone’s hand used to make me sweat even more). I am working on other mental solutions to my anxiety like breathing exercises. They seem to be working.
I can’t tell you to have the surgery, and I can’t tell you to NOT have the surgery. But I can tell you after these few months, I do not yet regret the surgery. That may change: my CS may get worse, it may get better. The anxiety associated with this surgery is understandable. It’s an elective surgery, and NO ONE has any idea exactly how your body will behave afterward.
I hope this helps at least a little.
Ricky B says
I’m 38 yrs old and had the ETS about 9 years ago and it has tremendously enhanced my life. Prior to it I could sweat in a snow storm. It was tough playing certain sports because bats and golf clubs would slip out of my hands. Not to mention when I was young dating was brutal when it came to holding hands. Business was even tougher because whats the first and last thing you do when you meet someone? All that has changed, and now I can tell when someone has the issue because usually my hands are bone dry. I do get the comp sweating but so what, because I would be sweating bullets anyway. At least now the face and hands don’t, and I have a great poker face because I cant blush.
For those who are considering it, do the research and most importantly do the research on the doctor! Even if you have to fly somewhere to see that doctor get a good one. I found a good one in CA and he did the clamps. Short term recovery is a little tougher than they tell you, it is hard to breath for a week, and the lungs are very sore. But it all goes away, it helps to have someone around to care while you recover. My hands are starting to slightly sweat again prob from nerve regrowth, but my dad has it and he is 66 yrs old now and he says the older he gets the more it subsides. My 3 year son has it, so I will watch for all the modern stuff and see what can be done to help him. Definitely love and confidence are a must.
For the one guy here who posted he has depression and stuff, I did too and got blood work done from my doctor. It turned out to be super low levels of Vitamin D and I take a supplement and its all good now. So maybe its from something else and not necessarily the surgery, blood work reveals a lot.
My vote is yes on the surgery I would do it 10 times over if I had to.
Best of Luck
I had ets over ten years ago when I was in my twenties. I had it for facial blushing and facial sweating. This was the single worst mistake of my life. My top third of my body is bone dry. My eyes are bone dry and my skin flakes off on my face and scalp. My hands don’t sweat a drop and I can’t grip things like I should. I was never warned about the real side effects of this butchery. The unethical doctors wont tell you about the real side effects. They only care about money. they know that once you sign a waiver you can’t sue them. I really hope people read up on ets surgery and how is ruins the body,
I have not had ETS and I have not heard of someone doing it again, but this sounds suspicious! I’d be careful and get a second opinion!
Leola Lloyd says
Renee, the nerves they cut also control acid production in your stomach from what my doctors are telling me, I now have severe Acid Reflux. Its not worth the risk… this surgery has been outlawed in many countries. This surgery is radical….please don’t do it…
I had ETS surgery 2 years ago when I was 21. I had extreme sweating in my armpits and hands. It could be snowing outside and sweat would be dripping down my arm. This had been happening to me since I was just a child. The doctor I went to suggested that my nerves be severed, not cut or clamped. I had tried everything available up until that point to end my sweating. I ended up having the axillary and hand nerves severed.
The results were great.. for about a year. Now I have extreme CS on my upper and lower back and my axillary sweating is back. So really this surgery just made my sweating even worse. I went back to the doctor about a month ago and he suggested that I do the surgery again because he believes the nerves are growing back. I am not sure if it is worth it.. but it feels like my side effects are getting worse.
Has anyone every heard of anyone doing it a second time?? Or does anyone have any advice for me??
I had ETS about 10 years ago, right after college, for mainly palm sweating and cranial sweating. I must say – it was the best decision of my life. Like a miracle. I had been suffering from severe palm sweating since a small child and my parents and dr.s thought it was psychosomatic. No one understands unless they have experienced it. I woke up from the procedure BONE dry.
However, now…down the road, I do have the compensatory sweating and underarm (under one arm?) that I never had before. I am seeking medicinal treatment for that and I recently purchased the ionization machine for my feet, arms and now my little 8 year old who has inherited this from me.
Please let me know if you are considering the surgery….for me, even including the side effects, it was life changing.
Don’t do it if you’re thinking about doing it.
There are so many alternatives to controlling the sweating. If I had known about this 10 years ago, I would NOT have gotten the surgery done:
Check out this video on Ionotophoresis.
$10 Home Depot solution
$$$$$ + pain + recovery + side effects
those of which include:
lowered awareness, horrible memory, constant DEPRESSION, COMPENSENTORY SWEATING UP THE WAZOO
Yay, my hands are dry, but I want to put a bullet in my head. That’s just freaking great. People think I’m a positive person, but it’s just what they see from my constant fight against the depression.
You know the funny thing too? I’m back in school now to change my career, and I’m having to force myself to learn massive amounts of new material, and *surprise* my hands are starting to sweat again. Cut nerves, stop sweating but lose ability to remember things. Force myself to remember things, nerves grow back, hands start to sweat again.
Notice how many ETS websites there are? Almost like infomercials… There’s money to be made there.
I’ve only just come across this thread. I am 40 years old and I had a bilateral cervical sympathectomy done 28 years ago when I was 12. I then had a bilateral lumber sympathectomy done a few years later.
Because I had it done so many years ago I unfortunately was left with severe scaring the full width of my stomach and bad scaring underneath both armpits. Way before it could be done with keyhole surgery.
I had the worst sweating on the hands and feet possible. I couldn’t walk due to the blisters I had on my feet. I have never had any problems since the operations. I had a few problems throughout pregnancy but that was due to the excess scar tissue on my tummy.
Would I have the ops again, yes I would. The sweating was horrendous and now I have no problems at all with my hands or my feet.
I have found a great product. It works for underarms, facial sweating and cs (compensatory sweating). The product says it also helps with hands and feet. It worked on all of the above except for my hands and feet and ultimately I had to get the ets surgery (10yr ago) for my hands & the feet surgery (2yrs) ago.
I’m having back issues and worse cs after the 2nd surgery. I found relief with this product. I must have spent a year or so searching online for something to help me.
For anyone whos is desperate to try something for compensatory sweating as well as sweating anywhere else, check out Google products on the “Maxim Antiperspirant“. It definitely helped me and some people I know. And it’s pretty cheap too, about $13.
I hope this was helpful!
Rodney, thanks for your response. I did a lot of research and learned that the ETS is not for me. I am too afraid of the side effects and have found something else.
It’s a procedure where a laser attacks the glands and it’s less invasive. The only bad thing is that insurance doesn’t cover it. I hope to be sweat free soon!
I am sorry for what you are experiencing, as well as many others who have had the surgery. My heart goes out to you all and I hope you find relief soon.
Renee, the nerves they cut also control acid production in your stomach from what my doctors are telling me, I now have severe Acid Reflux. Its not worth the risk… this surgery has been outlawed in many countries. This surgery is radical….please dont do it…
Has anyone had the ETS surgery that has had positive results? I have axillary sweating (underarms) and would very much like to stop it, the surgery is the only way that I know of to stop it permanently but I am afraid of CS becoming so bad that I regret having ETS. I would like to know from people that can relate to axillary sweating. I am a 36 year old female.
i have shortness of breath but think that was due to having my lungs collapsed to perform the surgery,im hoping they go back to normal.doc said it could be scar tissue.
I had the surgery 3 years ago, worst decission I ever made, I have had many problems since. Loss of hair, CS to the point that it looks like I jumped into the pool with my clothes on. Having major lung or breathing problems, FEELS LIKE I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK. I have had to goto the emergency room many time with major chest pains and short of breath. I have had to fight depression ever since. If anyone else is having the short of breath and chest pains please post so I can see if its just me.
If you are thinking about having this done, PLEASE dont! sweating hands, feet and under arms is bad but nothing like what you will experience after this surgery
my daughter just had the ETS surgery 6 ddays ago, she is having a lot of pain in her back and under ares. she is so happy that her hands are dry. any idea how long the pain will last+ she haddddddd t3&t4 cut.
after suffering sever hyperhydrosis on my hands for as long as i can remember i had this surgery 2 days ago and the results are great! I’m in the UK so the surgery was on the nhs (national Health System) but the results are better than i could have ever imagined, I’ve got dry hands for the first time in my life and I’m 24! I’d tried creams, medications, botox and sprays but nothing worked leaving surgery as my only hope, although I’m in a lot of post surgery pain and on strong painkillers it was definitely worth it!
Hard to say Alex. I am no doctor and I don’t want to do anything to imply that your doctor messed up, but in every comment on ETS that I’ve read, the side effects end up being bad enough that they create their own problems.
Only in a few cases I’ve read are the patients happy and that happiness is because the new problems are ones that can be covered up where before, the original problem couldn’t – for example, excessive sweating on the face, and after surgery, the excessive sweating moved to a location that is not as noticeable. Note that the trade off was not by design, but by luck – the surgeon has no way to know exactly what is going to happen with ETS.
do think the surgeon may have messed up the T’s and thats why my hands are bone dry?????
Well its been 6 months now since my operation and i do get more sweating on my back and under my nipples, i just wear vests under my tops now but it still seeps through, but its better than the intense sweat dripping front my whole head and face.
Problems I now have because of ETS and concern me now are:
* My arms and hands are bone dry now and i have to keep moisturizing.
* My hands don’t have the same grip due to no moisture, so i drop things easily now.
* I now moisturize before driving so i have good grip on the steering wheel.
* I lose my breath easier.
* My lungs can hurt on a cold night.
None of this was never explained to me. The issue with my lungs hurting is probably because my lungs had to be collapsed to perform the surgery. Anyone came across this before? Michelle how are you dealing with it now?
Hello, I have experienced severe head, facial and neck sweating for several years. I am currently 55yo. So, something must be different for me, since only having this for the last few years. I can’t believe I even considered ETS. I take Robinul, only when I go out in public. Still it doesn’t work. It has caused dry mouth so bad, that my teeth are rotten from the inside out. Then they break off. My Dentist made me stop the Robinul, but now its too late. Be careful people with the meds that cause dryness of mouth. You will have that problem on top of your severe side effects.And to Alex, I will pray for you, and each and every one of you. My problems are so small, compared to you all. Blessings….
hullo, iam concerned about all the procedures you are mentionng. iam in management at my place of work and i do alot of signing of documents. i have gotten embarrased often bse of my dripping hands. i cant put on open shoes bse i fear my extremely sweaty feet to be seen. my shoes also smell. i have leaved with this condition for 26 years. i felt like the ETS would be my longlast solution. iam now worried if all these side effects are the end result. pls advise
Tanya, Brighton UK says
Myself, my twin and older sister all had this op about 6 years ago, myself and my twin have some cs, can make our backs very, very hot and sweat to pour down, especially in the summer. Sweating legs is an odd sensation still. Older Sister has cs so bad that she has become almost agoraphobic and regrets having the op done. Her doctors suggests Botox, although it is very very expensive.
We are at a loss and desparate for relief for her so she can get her life back.
Where can I find an expert to email about this?
I am a 32 year old female and I have suffered from HH for as long as I can remember. I hand VATS in 2005 when I was 27 yrs old and thought that it was the best thing ever to help with my sweaty hand, feet and armpits but I was in for a surprise.
I would not have heard about VATS if it wasn’t for another female that I met while attending a course for the military and she stated that she only had CS on her lower legs. So I got VATS done before I went on active duty in the military thinking that without sweaty hands I would be able to handle my weapon better and be more active socially. But my CS has gotten progressively worse over the past 5 years and it doesn’t look like it will ever decrease.
I would urge anyone considering this surgery to really look at how the consequences will affect your life after the surgery. I have perspired so much sometimes that my entire uniform from top to bottom was completely soaked and that’s no way to live. I suggest anyone considering this surgery find a surgeon that performs the temporary ETS preferably during the summer months to see how your body will react and make you decision from there.
Consider not being able to walk hand in hand on the beach in a bikini or limiting your wardrobe because of your CS. I would rather have those sweaty hands back rather than have 90% of my body drenching with sweat and not being able to where the clothes that once wore or going to the places that you once went to because your afraid of the embarrassment of CS.
The surgeons will not stress to you how this surgery will affect you physically or psychologically, they just perform the surgery and leave you flappin in the wind when you are done.
I can say that I am considering the reversal surgery to see how that will work for me. If I do go through it I will definitely let everyone know how I make out. I can’t hurt anything if it improves my quality of living.
This was very helpful! I was to thank everyone that commented on their experiences!!
I’m 23 now and had the ETS surgery (clamp) when I was about 15 or 16. I would consider my case of hyperhidrosis of the hands EXTREME, and the surgery cured that.
But the compensatory sweating is bothersome too. VERY bothersome actually. I still think its way better than dealing with obviously sweaty hands. My legs, ankles, buttocks, STOMACH, lower back get drenched like my hands used to. It really sucks to have to live with this when I see everybody else around me not having this problem.
I usually wear jeans to cover my legs, but the heat from long pants in the sun seems to make me sweat more. At least nobody can tell I guess.
The most promising treatment I’ve come across for compensatory sweating is APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. Its too early to tell since I haven’t been consistent with taking it everyday like I need to, but Ill update you once I fully test it out. However I just started taking ACV shots every morning and night and I feel noticeably drier all around! You can get it at Mothers Market if you have one of those around you.
I had this barbaric surgery without evening knowing it, without ANY informed consent whatsoever during another procedure. It has ruined my life and cost hundreds of thousands in medical bills. I lost the ability to sweat and my skin on that side is beyond try-I am no longer able to experience goose bumps. On my other side, my non ETS side, I cannot control my body temperature AT all. My fingers experience SEVERE Raynaulds now. I have been put on a ventilator because the the cardiopulmonary complications of this barbaric procedure. Not to mention the lack of emotions this sickening procedure causes.
Where is our government?
To those of you that are “seriously considering” ETS after all that you’ve read throughout the internet…
If you go ahead and go through this surgery, then it’s your own fault if you have complication like this. Is your sweating really that bad to allow a procedure to be done on that is normally used to alter the brain? I mean how much “evidence” do you need that you are: a) being lied to by the medical community and b) obviously these complications aren’t from a single incident in one small town. The only saying.. if one person complains about you, it’s probably them… if 100 patients complain about something, there is a problem.
Your sweating is NOT a nervous system problem. It is a hormonal problem. It is similar to that of women going through menopause. No amount of removing vital nerves is remotely ethical for this. I can bring another 15 patients to this blog who have experienced complications, some severe.
Also, beware that some ETS doctors will leave comments on sites talking about how great the procedure is to trick you into believing it’s a great cure!
Now just over a year since my bilateral ETS.
CS is still severe, especially in summer months. From my nipples down. Still only dry on my right side, left side facial sweating is worse than before.
Huge temperature differences between left and right sides. Right arm and hand freezing cold, no temp regulation at all, no sweating. left side normal body temp.
severe facial blushing only on left side of face, i look ridiculous.
DO NOT HAVE ETS
I was diagnosed with palmar HH around the year 2001 and had ETS that same year. i cant remember when exactly, but i was 16 at the time. i had extremely severe palmar HH, but no where else. no extreme armpit, butt, leg, or feet sweating. i had to fold a piece of paper in quarters just to write a short note during school. if i had to write a page, the number of folded papers quadrupled.
I was accused of cheating multiple times because of this, so i re wrote whatever i was working on without the use of a “sweat pad”, and by the time i was done the ink was smeared making it illegible, and the paper itself was shredding to pieces. when i drove my car sweat would drip down my forearms and soak my pants. if i shook someone’s hand they recoiled. i just wanted it to end.
after 2 years of going to Dr after Dr insurance was finally convinced to help out. i went to a neuro/cardiothoracic surgeon in waco Texas at scott and white. he recommended only having one side cut (cut, not clamped). i am forever thankful for that decision. from that day until today i have not sweated on the right side of my body from the waist up. if you drew a line directly down the middle of my body and one across my bellybutton, you would see the area affected. one quarter of my body has not sweated in 9 years!
i do not know exactly which nerves he cut or where (i was young and just wanted it over with), but i have minimal (MINIMAL) comp sweating. i may sweat a little bit more on my lower back, but it is definitely not a hassle compared to what i was dealing with.
The only side effects i noticed/have noticed in the past 9 years are as follows:
i would not change my decision to have surgery for anything. it changed my life…period. i recommend this ONLY to those that have extremely severe HH. my doc said i was in the worst 0.005% of the 1% of the entire 270 million ppl in the US that has this.
If you are just annoyed by clammy hands once a day, do not bother. you probably will regret it. but if you can literally sweat a 30ml pool of sweat in one minute flat (yes, i have tried this…) at any given moment of the day, then if your surgeon is experienced, you probably will love the results. research! please! research is worth it! know what may happen to your body. you only have one body!
Dr. told me that ETS would help with my foot problem WRONG!!! Its so much worse. I’m always changing my socks and dread going to public places. I always had Sweaty feet, but my shoes are always in a puddle of sweat. I wish I would have read this website before going along with it. Its been almost 2.5 yrs now and it is the worst thing that I could have done to myself. If you are considering surgery, Please reconsider I wish someone would have warned me.
Tasha Canada says
So much like Michelle, I have dealt with this since I can remember, and everywhere, hands, feet mostly, armpits, and the occasional groin, facial and lower back… so basically everywhere on a bad day. I am 25 now, and am seriously considering ETS. I figure for me, unlike so of the rest of you, I already sweat everywhere, so how much worse can it get?
Anyone out there in my boat that has undergone ETS?
I just don’t know what else to do anymore, and reading all this is making it more difficult. Are some doctors better then others? Does clampping really make a difference? Are there any other treatments in the works or being tested that are worth waiting for?
All your thoughts and help are appreciated.
I have severe blushing issues. It has held me back in many ways. No college-couldn’t face being called upon, pregnant early (thought he was the best I could do) no self confidence. I work in a go-nowhere job. I’m 32 now and still suffering. It’s been the single biggest problem of my life. I have no insurance, so I won’t be getting the surgery. Which may be a blessing in disguise. However…
The one question I haven’t seen answered here–Is the “disease” hereditary? My daughter, after entering puberty, started sweating really bad under her arms. And she’s ALWAYS hot. She has to take extra clothes w/ her so she can change if she needs too. It’s affecting her ability to make friends. Her happiness is so important, I just want this to go away for her. Is her sweating just going to get worse?
Can this problem show itself in different ways for members of the same family?
Or am I just over-reacting?
thanks for all the comments. I always thought I was just weird. Why doesn’t anyone else have problems talking to people? I’ve been called “stuck up” so many, many times. I just don’t want to talk. I know I will blush, then everyone will look at me, make a comment, and I’ll feel like crawling under the table w/ shame. I’m very reclusive. It’s been hard, but it feels good to know there are people out there like me.
Tasha Canada says
So much like Michelle, I have dealt with this since I can remember, and everywhere, hands, feet mostly, armpits, and the occassional groin, facial and lower back… so basically everywhere on a bad day. I am 25 now, and am seriously considering ETS. I figure for me, unlike so of the rest of you, I already sweat everywhere, so how much worse can it get?
Anyone out there in my boat that has undergne ETS?
I just don’t know what else to do anymore, and reading all this is making it more difficult. Are some doctors better then others? Does clampping really make a difference? Are there any other treatments in the works or being tested that are worth waiting for?
All your thoughts and help are appreciated.
Wow. I’m 16 and all this is kinda surprising. I’ve dealt with hyperhidrosis since i can remember. I remember being fed up with it in 3rd grade! I started looking into about 7th grade. I’m on my second doctor.. I am now ending 11th grade and have been through powders, topicals, oral medications, and recently–botox. I was taking up to 4mg of robinol/day. without serious help but really dry mouth and somewhat stopping me from going to the bathroom regularly, or making it more difficult.
I had the botox only in my feet so far and it was somewhat painful, 20 injections in each foot. Even tho it was painful I figured it would all be totally worth it if it was going to stop the sweating and insurance was covering it.
However….I am still sweating through my socks and even laying in bed without socks i just sweat. For the most part its only in my hands, feet and armpits. I think its severe but wouldn’t know, because its been part of my life forever, but its constantly annoying to lift up my hand and be able to wash someone elses with all my sweat. It has effected me, social and physically. It is really unbearable! I am sitting here with my laptop keys wet. sometimes afraid im going to break my phone if too much sweat gets on it.
So as I heard about this procedure sometime ago, had never really looked into it until now, looking for my last resort. But I don’t want to mess with my nerves! im honestly scared and worried.What I am going to do!? I don’t want to risk the CS that could be even worse..i couldn’t imagine!..honestly.
I also love art and its hard to deal with..even with daily paper work, or holding onto my pen
Artist..I’m really looking forward to your research!
I’d love to hear anything else anyone has to add. Feel free to contact me.
Thank you to everyone!
All that you wrote hits home with me. CS is my only issue and all you said about eating healthier, exercising, and the herbal medication (Mary J) you mentioned help too.
I guess the main problem is controlling it, bc it varies in severity everyday.
I don’t know for a fact but if you look on the web or even speak to some of these surgeons, a lot of them no longer do it for FB…..Prob bc the side effects of CS seem to be worse…ect.
You really need to speak to like 10 different surgeons and get all the info from them, compare it…bc last thing you want is Severe side effects that your body is not used to.
Anyone can email me too at gwelge @ hotmail .com
Thank you for comment, I know ETS is a bad option but the only one that can solve this issue physically I mean.
Do you know why the side effects is worse when ETS is being done for FB (Facial Blushing) as the nerves that are being cut are the same?
I’ve posted a couple times before. I just re-read all the posts and the new ones since my last. I’ve been looking for a forum, the most popular one, where we can all find each other and get emails when replies to our questions happen.
Does anyone know of one? I’ll keep looking. The site was started by loved ones of a boy that ended his life over the side effects. I’ll admit for the first time in my life I have those thoughts but I refuse to entertain them and I feel it’s normal considering the double whammy it can appear to be…you go for the cure and it’s worse than the problem…it’s heartbreaking yes…but I’m determined to do everything I can and fight for a better life and happiness.
My CS is the worst problem. I’m not really sure about some of the other symptoms as I was a smoker (less energy) and a Pothead (feeling removed) before the surgery and now I’m clean of all mind altering substances for years and feel great…but my benchmark was well…not really an accurate baseline. I did notice Pot seemed to lower my CS but these days I’d rather not as it screws up my thinking and ultimately causes more problems, more depression, more paranoid crap in my head. I noticed one other poster has claimed pot helped his CS and I’ve seen at least one other on another site.
I do feel for those who suffer those side fx. The CS sucks like all who complain and yes especially in the summer and got worse up till yr 5 then leveled off. Now I’m losing weight, a lot of weight that needed to go and taking rubinol. Will see how it goes this summer. It has helped so far in the cooler months. I live in Norther California.
Things I have found that may be of use to you.
Two reversal procedures for those who did not have clamps
You can do a skin graft, so far too early to tell as it takes years to regrow nerves and too few have done it. I feel the doctor I have now is the most honest and caring doctor of all the ones I’ve spoken to. He actually tried to talk me out of the procedure back in 2006 and my insurance recommended another doctor at the same time that would cost me less. I’m seriously considering the grafting. My insurance turned me down but it’s not to outrageous an expense so I may try it.
A Brazilian doctor claims he can stop CS from the waist up. This will cost me less.. I assume with more cutting. 1/3 have more sweat in the legs and buttox, 1/3 the same. 1/3 have less and that most patients prefer the dry upper body. None of this is documented and after speaking with the doctor he did supply me with one patient’s name that I could contact. I’m holding off on this for now but not ruling it out. I’m hoping someone here knows more about this or has had the procedure done and can comment.
Also something of interest to me. I’ve noticed that when I eat specie food I sweat from the hairline and around the ears and back of the neck, (Gustatory Sweating Reaction) Also my arms down to the tops of my hands. I’ve noticed that when this reaction occurs the CS does not, or at least gets interrupted.
I’m trying some test myself with this now and will report more about it. I have noticed that I seem to sweat from these areas on my own more now since I’ve been trying the spice. This happens during workouts. This may be something as it’s possible to stimulate nerves with implants as spice can be uncomfortable. Maybe this deserves more clinical study.
I’ve also noticed that I sweat almost normally in a hot sauna and after a hot sauna my CS is less. My CS is less after aerobic work outs (after I cool down) as well.
The medication seems to help, but once I break a sweat it’s like a hot flash…it come quick…if I meditate or relax it does decrease …like a wave or hot flash would.
I notice by body heats up during these flashes.
I notice if I meditate for a half hour, my CS is less for several hours.
Basically leading a healthier lifestyle, lowering body fat, staying clean and sober seems to help the CS
Humidity, even at cooler temps makes the CS worse. Hot dry climates are way better even better than cool humid ones.
I may move to Alaskan high altitude if I have to…what I won’t do is let this get me down!!! I will always search and I will try hard not to feel self pity as it is poison and worse than CS…but it can be hard.
mallory elise says
hi, i had endoscopic thoracic surgery for my hyperhidrosis in 2003, and it was 100% effective on my hands, which were the worst of all my symptoms. However my feet only lessened, and now i am living in a south American country, and the volume of sweat is nearly equal to how my hands used to be. since it is has been 7 years, has the technology and knowledge of the condition advanced at all to the point where if i had the surgery again would it possibly help my feet? thank you so much.
i got out of hospital yesterday, got ETS on my left side,right side in 6 weeks and cant wait. im still sweating but just on the right hand side now and not anymore than usual.so far so good,when i stop sweating from my face and head it will be a godsend, which i had got this years ago 🙂
This might work. check this out:
Note: this is Robinul and a 90 tablets will run you about $300!
I am 46 and had my ETS 10 years ago. Mine was for palmer and plantar. I was told that it may or may not work for my feet. he said my cs wouldn’t be any worse, that is, until I went ahead with it. I was pleased with the surgery even though my cs was pretty bad. i still preferred cs over my original problem with my sweaty hands. so last year (13 months ago) I got the surgery for my feet and went to the same doctor.
My doctor is the only doctor who does the lumber sympathectomy here is the US. I had the clamp method done for both surgeries. the 2nd surgery took longer than normal, it took 3hrs and I stayed over night at the hospital.
But ever since the surgery I am having lower back pain. Nobody seems to know why. I have been to numerous specialist, had 4 epidurals, acupuncture, chiro, physical therapy. Everything comes out normal on mri, xrays, and ct scan. Doctors are at a loss and they just wanna keep giving me epidurals and physical therapy and the famous words, “this takes time, you need to be patient”
It’s been a living hell. I am on pain meds for 13 mo. I no longer go to work, instead I have to telecommute. I am depressed and drained and hopeless.
I just went back to the surgeon and asked to have my clamps removed. He tries to convince me that clamping the sympathectomy nerve had not cause back pain.
But that’s the only that I did differently. It would be too coincidental for me to get the surgery and wake up with chronic back pain.
Anyway I’m waiting for the doctor to call me back after he gets with my insurance to hopefully schedule the reversal.
All I can say in my experiences with reading up on Side effects for ETS, I have found that Blushers seem to have more and worse side effects, I would continue to try other options, ETS will only mess you’re body up, and permanently too. for the most part.
Yooo ETS is realy terrifying !!!
I stared having ecessive facial blushing 5 years ago (now 32) and ever since can’t get over it while trying (Bio Feed back, psychologist, SSRI…) non of them helps really.
I know ETS is can be a very bad option from all of the posters hereby mention it as bad, BUT what alternative there is for us blushers ?
Is only cutting T2 decreasing side effect severity for ETS ?
Isabel from Chile says
Hello everyone, I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences, so I would like to share my experiences as well. I am from Chile (South America), and I suffered the same problem of all of you, underarm sweating, since I was 13 (now I am 28), I agree in everything you say, about antiperspirant product (I had used every), different and expensive treatments with dermatologist, the only colors I tended to wear were black and white because the sweat is not so visible, my self esteem lowered dramatically, it depresses me sometimes and so on.
Actually just last year (2009) I told my family and boyfriend about this matter, they were very nice and they said never noticed it, of course I tried to hide all the time, they supported me a lot and finally on November I had the surgery for hyperhidrosis (ETS) that was performed through some 4 small incisions on my chest under my breasts (2 for each side) under general anesthesia.
The month after the surgery I felt good but experiencing chest pain with spasms during all the time, 2 months after I still felt some very very little pain on my breasts, but no spasms, I guess a good recovering is before 3 or 4 months, this is because of the surgery. Some doctors and web sites don’t inform the patient about the real procedure, in my case my lungs were deflated to endoscopy and to introduce the video camera, I don’t know if this is always this way, but the act to remove internal parts, the pain is prolonged during recovery.
I now have some sweating on back, stomach and legs, but manageable, I guess it is because we are in summer and everyone is sweating, now I have to see how it goes during the year.
Good luck for everyone, and for those getting the surgery, please let me know how it goes for you. I will update as time goes also…best regards.
The lethargic ness in my opinion is all in your head. Basically CS Compensatory sweating shapes your mind in that you don’t want to sweat so you stop doing activities because CS is a real issue for many.
You’re heart rate and lung capacity claims to be affected, but in my experience it is mostly mental due to depression that may occur or again the whole concept of trying to avoid CS – lack of activity.
But pay special attention to ALL side effects because you could very well develop any / ALL of them!!!!!!
My advise try all other avenues and SERIOUSLY take your time researching this thing…and research all forums as much as you can…because it could be devastating compared to your problem now!
Thanks Sue,but i really need it,i shave my head and sweat pours out when im anxious,its embarrasing and holds me back.ive recently been made redundant and have had to walk out job interviews as im soaked just waiting to be interviewed,i cant live my life like that.
what worries me in the lethargy some people experience as i love going to the gym,it would kill me if i didnt have the energy to go.
ill go back and speak to my doc as none of the above was ever explained to me.
Please Alex, consider rescheduling your ETS and giving yourself plenty of time to research this BEFORE you do something that you may regret.
That is all I ask! Research costs nothing and once you have all the facts, then make your decision.
I’m due to go into hospital on 17/02/10 for ETS, kinda not sure now after reading this.
Thank you for the idea on Sage Tea, I’ve heard that before but maybe this time I’ll give it a go.
Thank you for the list, I ahve tried Robinul with no success…….But did you see improvement with the local Glycopyrrolate? Lotion?
@ Fed up there are some medications that you may find helpful, you can get them thru a dematologist. Here’s the list some are related to others. I’ve tried Glycopyrronium bromide and Glycopyrrolate/Robinu both helped but for me very little as the surgery really messed me up….Don’t get ETS what ever you do, you’ll most likely sweat like crazy from the nipple line down to your ankles like crazy and never be able to wear normal clothes again! They call it Compensatory Sweating (CS) and claim it’s mild…the risk is not worth it!
Here’s the complete list. You may find this helps you tremendously.
Hang in there your not alone!
Alex Bosman says
I am 21 and had ETS at 16. I stay in south Africa. My pits were bad and my hands even worse. I’m a smart good looking chap who enjoyed the sun, sports and travel. the CS gets worse every day. no pain at least, I am however lethargic, depressed and sitting here with the air conditioner at 14 degrees Celsius and I am drenched. the sweat is pouring off my back and front so fast its making beads on the outside of the material before the material is even wet.
I used to smoke copious amounts of cannabis due to its suppressing effects. I always used to break girls hearts as I would meet them invite them over for a jacuzzi and a swim to have sex while still wet so that nothing is noticed. obviously never to call them again as any relationship would be a severely messed up. tried going to university, couldn’t make it from my car to class without sweating through 3 shirts so i gave up on that. People I cannot stress this enough, ETS isn’t a mild inconvenience, or a worth while trade-off, this is disabling…
Research lead me to probanthine which lead me to try a relationship. The admin in managing this God damn problem is draining-excuse the pun. I have pulled off 15 months now with a girl that can honestly be a model, only because I was chronically on probanthine and marijuana. thought id give life a shot so started my pilots license at the same time as the relationship.. archived quite a lot in 2008 but depression from the marijuana- which indecently i hate the feeling of was too much so i quit. the probanthine helps for an hour then i must make an excuse to go. Cant get a medical to fly with cannaboids in ones blood and cant fly without the blocking effect it has (who knows what mechanism is involved) due to the fact that i lose about 3 kg of water an hour in a hot cockpit.
I can not believe Doctors are still performing this operation! I am now going to break the most gorgeous girl on the planets heart into a million pieces, I’m going to shatter my mothers heart and leave my dad and my sister pretty sad too.
Just waiting to the gun to arrive.
Gary and LC,
I’ve had Hyperhidrosis for about 11 years now and had the surgery about 8 years ago. My sweating was all over, and while I did experience some huge improvements, the sweating and compensatory sweating still greatly effect my everyday life.
I had heard about using sage a while ago. I tried concentrated sage (you add to some water or apply under the tongue) but with little results. I sort of gave up on sage until recently when my boyfriend ordered some Sage Tea for me.
While the heat of drinking the tea does make me a bit more sweaty (and I know tea doesn’t sound very appealing when you are already hot and sweaty), the results have been noticeable.
While I of course still sweat, drinking tea routinely at morning and night seems to lessen the compensatory sweating, and the more I keep up with it, the better off I am. And, the tea tastes great!
I’m not sure what other ones are out there, but I’m using the ALVITA SAGE TEA right now and having good results with it.
Hope this helps someone on here!
Looking for all suggestions on how to relieve Compensatory Sweating…….Anyone?
Joe I am not making a case that Reversal is possible, but I had my original ETS clamped at T 3 / 4 – with 4 clamps…..got severe CS …had the clamps removed 2 years later…and yes I do still have CS, but it doesn’t last as long…and it seems the sweat patterns have changed a bit due to the clamps being taken out….
However I also never had a blushing problem my problem was hand sweat…..
Long story short, I think by having the clamps removed, at the least helps a “little”.
Hello. I had ets in 2001 by the butcher Dr. Lin in Taiwan. I was clamped on the t2 four times. I had ets for facial blushing and it has been the worst thing I have ever done.
The entire top third of my body will not sweat. NO SWEAT. MY head is bone dry. MY eyes are bone dry. MY hands don’t sweat anymore. I can’t grip things properly. This surgery has ruined my life.
I have no energy and I have sores on my face and scalp. The feeling of dryness on my face/head is horrible. MY eyes hurt all day long due to the dryness. These butchers know how horrible ets surgery is. They don’t care. It’s only about money.
They are completely biased about the surgery cause they are making money. They never informed me of the horrible side effects of ets. Ets can’t be reversed. It’s a lie. DR. LIN has ruined my life and I do not believe ets surgeons are to be trusted! Do your homework before trusting them!
Rudy Pena says
Hello, I had ETS surgery in 2000, which stopped my armpit and nervous scalp sweating. I’ve had gustatory sweating since 1981. the surgery made this worse. The drug Levsin is minimally effective in treating the gustatory sweating (sometimes slows it down, sometimes has no effect). Is there any procedure or drug to effectively treat gustatory sweating?
I had the surgery (cauterization) in 1998. The effects were dramatic for my face and head, but the CS on my body is pretty severe. Still, I am torn between whether I am better off than I was. For many situations it is clear that I am happy with the results, but I dislike the summer months and find myself disinclined to work out due to the amount of CS.
For Ieland – I was originally clamped at T3 / 4, in Dec 07, had the clamps out this past Sept 09. I had the original surgery for sweaty hands. Compensatory sweating was so bad and bothersome I had to get the clamps out to see if I would get better. I believe that you can’t reverse this, once you had it done and you have Compensatory Sweating, chances of that going away are small. I
In my case it’s too early to tell, but I must say I feel better with having the clamps out and I really think that the CS is better now with the clamps out!
Anyone with the clamping method done, having problems get them out!!
Those thinking about having ETS – DON’T.
Anyone with clamp removal have any insight to CS getting better over time?
I have severe facial, chest, neck, ear blushing since I have been a little girl. I have been dealing with this problem forever. I have taken meds, went under hypnosis and nothing works. I am considering the surgery for the blushing, but now that I have read this frankly its scary. Does anyone recommend anything else for treatment. I do not have sweaty palms or face just he blushing severely.
I am 21, and really considering the ETS, but only because of the extreme facial blushing i have. I feel like my whole social life is ruined. Is there anyone who has positive feedback or know of any other treatment? This problem is ruining my life.
Thank you very much!
ETS surgery seems like a gamble. I dont understand why so many people are happy and so many are not. I would rather sweat anywhere but my hands maybe besides my face. I don’t know what to do and who to believe anymore.
I have just read all of your comments and I feel absolutely ‘horrified’ and a huge amount of compassion and sympathy for you all.
I suffer from Hyperhydrosis of the face. Not constant but pretty regular and to varying degrees, especially with temprature change, embarressment or emotion change.
I was LITERALLY on the verge of having this surgery – but I have IMMEDIATELY changed my mind after reading all of your terribly unfortunate and life changing experiences. My heart goes out to each and every one of you – it really does!!!
This has always been a terrible problem in my life – but I now feel as though I am one of the lucky few.
The awful, and quite likely after effects of this proceedure need highlighting a hell of a lot more to people. I hope and pray that each and every one of you find a cure or at the very least, something to eleviate your problems and SOON!!!!!!
I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your experiences on here with everyone. I know it will not help the way you are feeling, but I just wanted to say a HUGE ‘THANK YOU’ to you all – you have saved me from potentially and very probably suffering the same nightmare.
I admire and respect you all and I dont think I will ‘ever’ forget any of your stories.
To the few on here with a successful story – I really am delighted for you. You have what we all want/wanted. But I am not prepared to take the risk now.
To those who have only just had the proceedure – I hope all works out for you. Remember everyone is different. You may have a whole new and free life in front of you. Just keep in touch with your Doctors and let them know at every stage of your recovery, what you are experiencing.
You are an amazing group of people, I am thinking of you all,
Love David. x
I am 21 right now, and been having sweating problem in my armpits and hands since i was 16, i am a graphic designer so the hand sweating is a big problem, i had the surgery like 3 months ago for both armpits and hands and the Doc said i would have a little of compensated sweating below the Chest/nipples, so i said it was ok, everything better than this sweaty armpits/hands…. anyway…
I had the surgery, and in the beginning it was ok, but right now i went to live in a hot weather town and the CS is extreme, it is really annoying, i have to wear a white shirt below all my shirts to actually stay with my outside shirt more or less dry, sometimes it passes tru and it looks like a giant wet circle rounding my stomach and back. When i go out , i have to use deodorant in my stomach and back cause the sweat after impregnated in the shirt, starts smelling like normal armpit sweat… Sometimes if i wear short pants that are not black, it will show a bit of sweat in the lower part of my bottom and upper part of my legs, some jeans as well will show some marks too…… so my favorite colors now are black, white and dark colors.(totally sucks)
I have to avoid going out in the day or afternoon, and even in the nights i sweat as well, of course not us much as in daylight, but its a really lame side effect, cause i do have to go out every day / afternoon for classes.
I try to avoid hugging people, crossing my arms (lol) or try to avoid staying outside too much, its ruining my social life, only times i hang out is in the night that is still ok, but cant do days unless i want to be sweaty all day long , this all unless you can be inside a car with AC or a Mall and take a break each 5-10 minutes of walking to refresh yourself…..
IF you are planning to do this, try wearing a shirt with wet circles in front of your stomach and your back, maybe wet your pants a little in the back part were the back ends, if you are comfortable with that, go for it, else avoid it at all cost.
: wish i never had this procedure.
I am 61 years old. Since I was 17 years old I have had excessive sweating on my neck, chest, neck and head. My life is disaster. I have had pleuritis many times.
I am not sure if I should have ETS or not and afraid this it might make my condition worse.
OH MY GOD people, you scared me so much! I’ve just had the surgery 3 weeks ago and you guys scared the hell out of me … am i going to suffer all what i read above later?? well till now my hands’ sweating stopped and my feet too although my doctor told me it’s only for palmer hyperhidrosis so am i going to sweat all over my body and feet again?
Please, any doctor to answer me I’m happy with results till now but u scared me and I’m sweating on my back now but its better than my hands and feet so please people any positive comments??
Also, my left eye dropped a bit and a doctor told me its a side effect of sympathectomy so, is going back to normal or what?? any help please I’m so scared
Hey Gary, if you don’t mind me asking what nerve ganglia did you have clamped, T2 T3 or T4? Also was your complaint sweaty palms before? I don’t know if the clamping is reversible like surgeons claim. You should start to feel better with the clamps out after some time.
I had ETS DEC 07 and experienced severe Compensatory Sweating. Sept 09 had the clamps removed. With hope of CS diminishing – has anyone heard of positive outcomes with removal of clamps???
does EtS surgery help with feet? This surgery seems like such a gamble. It seems to cure your hand sweating but it basically transfers sweating to somewhere else from what I’ve researched. Also the sweating can return slowly and you can get other side effects.
I’ve also noticed that men have generally worse results than women. I have it in my hands and feet. After treating my hands with iontophoresis they are a lot better, but my condition was only moderate to begin with. It is worse on my feet. I can see droplets of sweat on my feet, where as on my hands it’s only maybe sweaty on the fingertips and sides and now it’s been improved with iontophoresis.
I have researched this surgery for almost 2 years now. These doctors can’t agree on what level to clamp or cut the nerve which doesn’t make sense. Also everyone reacts differently. It’s not like your trying to cure cancer or something.
I’ve been scared to do ETS because of all he bad things I here, and since my hands are better than my feet, i won’t consider it unless it gets worse. Any thoughts or suggestions? For one person this surgery can change your life and another it can ruin it. That shouldn’t’ happen.
I has palmar hyperhydrosis to the point that I couldn’t shake hands with anyone and I would smear the ink on my paper when I was writing. I had a VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopy) procedure and clipping of my sympathetic nerves done 2 years ago and I would do it again.
I have compensatory sweating on my back and thighs, but it has slowly improved. To this day I still have to choose my clothing based on the how much I think I may sweat. I now wear a lot of dark jeans and black pants and have to layer my clothes. My underarm sweating has improved also.
I used to sweat a lot on my head and face and after the surgery I completely stopped sweating from my nipple line up for about a year. After the first year the sweating returned but at a level that I think is “normal” for the rest of the population.
About a year and a half after my surgery one of my hands started sweating every so slightly….but NOTHING like it used to do.
The compensatory sweating is definitely an issue for me, but it was totally worth it and I would definitely do it again.
I’m 25, had ETS when I was 18. It worked for me and I’ve never looked back. CS stopped almost completely after about 2 years but even with the CS from back/chest/bum the results it made to my hands sweating outweighed it in my opinion. My hands now sweat about 30% of what they used to. I went from a suicidal person who couldn’t have a relationship, to engaged with a beautiful Daughter and Normal Life! If anyone has any questions pls email me I’d be happy to help! Lewdougl@hotmail.co.uk
Jana Stephenson says
I am 38 years old, and had the surgery 2 weeks ago. I am still having pain in my upper back, and upper chest. I do still feel winded, and am just wondering if this in normal. My hands are dry, my feet are about 50% better, and underarms mainly dry as well. Some sweating on back, legs, and forearms, but manageable, and better than my hands dripping. I am just worried about my future after reading all of this. Any advice??
from what i’ve read. ppl that only had facial blushing but no excess sweating did not like the surgery at all. and were most likely to get it reversed. i think that is because when the ganglia is clipped the sweat WILL come out somewhere else and if you don’t already have excess sweating it think it’s a little hard to deal with.
after i got the surgery (5 days ago) only my hands stopped sweating, nothing else. but that was my only concern anyway. i can live with everything else.
i’m sorry you feel that way. and i’m sorry that your surgery was was not successful. i only posted my comment because i saw only negative comments posted and wanted others to know that some ppl do well after the surgery.
you are correct. it has only been 5 days since my surgery so in a year or two i may not feel that it was a success. and i can see where you’re coming from about the dr. only giving me contact info for ppl that had good results. however, in my dr.’s defense i went to her 4 years ago to get the surgery and she scared the crap out of me with the side effects and i decided not to do it. it was only after i got accepted to nursing school that i decided to go see her again and get another opinion. because i felt that even with the side effects i could not face patients everyday with my hands dripping sweat. since i had come to see her before she told me that her tactic is to tell ppl all of the side effects and the chances that it might not work and if they still decide to get it then they had the full story.
i didn’t mean to make my last comment sound like a false testimonial i was just trying to balance the comments a little.
I see that you mentioned a doctor in your comment and I have asked the administrator of this site to remove your post because I think your are really a doctor trying to drive traffic to your office. However, I see that only the information about the doctor was removed, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
You do realize that a doctor is not going to give you the name of patients that have had their life ruined by this, don’t you? The trick is to give you a list of success stories, then a few that ETS didn’t go as planned but are still OK with it, and try to trick you into believing that it is the cure all.
It has ruined so many people’s lives and it sounds like you got some what lucky. I propose that you revisit a year or two down the road and then tell your story. By then, you should know the exact damage that has been done by this procedure and any benefits.
ETS is very, very risky and so many horror stories can be found. Please everyone, think about this and watch for false testimonials!
I am 32 and have lived with excess sweating my entire life. hands, feet were severe and underarms were heavy but not as bad as hands and feet. I’m starting nursing school and decided to get the surgery to stop my hand sweating. I got the surgery a week ago and my hands have not sweat since the day of the surgery. my feet still sweat moderately, underarms are a little lighter. i do have compensatory sweating but so far it is very light on my back and legs.
i had a great doctor who stressed that everyone has compensatory sweating and that my feet probably would not stop sweating but that my hands would. since that is all i was concerned about i decided to go ahead with the surgery. I was also given a list of former patients who had gotten the surgery for me to contact and get their opinions before i made up my mind. everyone i spoke with basically had the same side effects as i did and they all agreed the surgery was worth it. i also am glad i got the surgery and would do it again.
i suggest you research your doctor and ask if you may contact former patients to get a better idea.
also, I’m not sure how important this is but my doctor felt like clipping T3 and T4 ganglia did not work as well and had worse compensatory sweating. she only does T2 and T3. so that may be another thing you want to research.
oh, i also experienced collapsed lungs. they both collapsed in surgery and it was extremely painful recovering. i was in bed for 3 days and still get winded just walking around the house. but it gets better everyday and again, I’d still have the surgery. it was totally worth it.
Hope this helped someone
I had the surgery, a big mistake, clamps were inserted about ten years ago. Now I deal with cs! Is there a way to reverse this?
So i had my ETS Dec 07 – thinking about having the clamps removed, asap – does anyone know of positive outcomes when removing these clamps? Esp in regards to CS ???
That’s why I got it done but I think you are too young, you should try therapy.
It did work, but, there are side effects! I think I will always have a sore arm and shoulder from this although my surgeon says it’s not from the ETS.
I had one side done in 2003 and I think it helped somewhat for blushing but I’m glad I only got one side done!! I still have pains in my shoulder to arm to fingers!
Hey everyone. I’m 18 years old and I have an excessive facial blushing problem. It’s ruining my social life and I am constantly thinking about it. I don’t have any problems with excessive sweating. I’ve researched and it said the T2 cord is cut or clamped for facial blushing. So I would get that done and that would be the only cord. Would it be worth it? Is there any chance of me getting compensatory sweating? Has anyone gotten this procedure done just for facial blushing? Any feedback would be great! Thanks
Warrick Dodge says
As a follow up to my previous comment, I can only say that things have gotten WORSE as time goes on.
My fingertips are constantly semi-numb and tingling and my feet still feel numb and sore. I must admit that my chest and upper arm pain has gone. The compensatory HH is still really bad and I am dreading summer. I seem to be struggling to focus my vision properly. If I have been watching TV and then try to read a book, my eyes can’t adjust and I can not make out the words. Maybe 1/2 hr later before I can focus properly again. My eyes are not great, but I never experienced this problem before.
I recently read somewhere on the www that a patient has sued his doctor for not adequately warning him about the side effects of ETS. I am considering this route. Some financial compensation would be great, but more than that, they have to STOP ETS SURGERY. It ruins people’s lives and the doctors don’t give a sh_t.
DO NOT HAVE ETS SUGERY!!!!!
I need HELP.
I’m still a teenager i had the surgery done when i was 16. I had the clamp procedure for the t2 & t3 i think for my facial sweating & underarm sweating but this compensatory sweating is annoying,frustrating & embarrassing.
I have to always wear 2 shirts. just so that i can soak up the 1st one. Are there any other procedures i can try for this compensatory sweating? medications? is reversal too late its been 3 years?
I have just had a ETS operation on June 22, 2009 here in Canada. I took no pain killers after the operation as I didn’t require them. The only problem I had was the breathing tube they put down my throat, this actually bothered me more than my chest after surgery.
I am 65 years of age and my operation for the scape, sweating, facial sweating and blushing, plus armpits was very successful. Surgery was fairly simple procedure with minimal discomfort. I would recommend this operation to anybody suffering from Hyperhidrosis..
Yes I do have side effects, one of which is sweating, one area gets fixed and the problem is redistributed elsewhere. This is called “compensatory sweating”. New areas were created in the waist area and the lower back. I don’t care it is still better than having dripping wet hair, as though you have just come out of the shower, or pools of water dripping down your face, and neck, or blushing at social occasions as though you are the local drunk, (and you don’t drink anything other the diet drinks). I had no energy, always in a pool of water. Life is too short to go around with something that can be fixed.
Another side effect I have is sensitive Pleurae, chest lining sensitivity above my right breast. This is improving, each week, and I am hopeful in time it will go away. Other-wise I will just have to get used to this.
My life has been dramatically immeasurably improved, I feel like a new person.. My scalp, face, neck and armpits are dry and my facial blushing has disappeared, thank God.
All I can say is “WOW” thanks guys. I guess I won’t be having the surgery. I am 44 and have tried everything, pill, herbs, botox, shock therapy and hypnosis with no success. My next step was the surgery.
You might think I am a little to old to be worrying about this now, but I’m recently divorced and have a problem dating. I constantly worry about being rejected because of my condition although I was married 14 yrs to a woman who did not have a problem with it.
However, you guys have helped me to appreciate that most likely it can only go from bad to worse if i have the endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery!
Meera Patel says
I had the same procedure done and well i have never been the same since, it’s been 8 years and i seem to forget things…i have constant pain in the area where i was operated on and also shortly after my surgery i started to get migraines! I went back to my surgeon who told me a few of his patients complained of the same thing but i was never told before the surgery! i really wish i never had this done…I’m going to be on painkillers for the rest of my life as nerve damage can’t be repaired…
Seth, do you have an email address i wish to talk to you about this a little further, please email me at missleicester (at) hotmail (dot) com
Gosh… I had no idea my bad experience was so common. I am 27 and wish I never had this operation some 6 years ago now.
BEFORE I did not sweat anywhere on my body except excessively on my hands and feet. I desperately dreaded shaking hands, holding hands … but looking back this is NOTHING compared to the compensatory sweating I experience now.
AFTER I am now permanently drenched from my shoulders to my feet. I wear only black and dread evening gowns, halter tops, having someone put suncream on me, I dread every colored fabric, leather seats, no air conditioning, hugging anyone, anytime, anywhere. I sweat constantly.
I hope you read this before considering the operation. DON’T DO IT.
If you can think of one part of your body that does not currently sweat excessively – you are far better off WITHOUT this operation!!
I am trying acupuncture today to see if that helps … I can only hope!
Tim C says
I’m relieved that so many people share the same problems I have experienced since my ETS surgery in 1998. I’m 29 now, and its the worst decision Ive ever made. CS has totally affected my life in that it dominates my decision making in every way.
If I have a wedding or social event of some sort, I immediately dread the event because I’ll have no way to hide my HH symptoms for so long. I’m always thinking someone will see me sweat profusely and make a comment. before surgery, I worried about facial blushing, palmar HH, facial HH but I would gladly go back to those problems rather than dealing with generalized CS as a result of ETS.
I strongly recommend to not even consider ETS. CS is way worse than any problem you have before ETS. Trust me the last 11 years or so of my life since surgery have been hell. I’ve deteriorated in many ways as a result. i have no self confidence, no self esteem that i believed started as a result of this surgery.
To be honest, yes there are things that have improved such as i don’t sweat in hands, face and I don’t really worry about blushing anymore, but seriously, the CS side effect (sweat from nipple line down to feet) SUCKS 20 TIMES WORSE!! I hate my body and hate myself because of it.
margaret mckenzie says
i had a sympathectomy in 2001.I suffered really bad reflex sweating for years after .The surgeon was no help at all and told me that it was not life threatening. I complained to the chief executive and pushed for another opinion. I was reffered to another surgeon 400 miles away.
I was told that the nerves would be cut on both sides from approx t2 to about waist level,,i was told that i would have at least 75% improvement,(huge odds for me).After the surgery i was very ill and it turned out that my lung had been badly damaged.
I was also told i would have to have another operation to repair my torn lung. I was 400 miles away from my family for almost 3 weeks and all but forced the doctors to release me after the lung had been stapled off to close the tear.
Six months later i am still off work and in so much pain, I have much less lung capacity because of the part that was stapled off., and i feel totally exhausted all the time. i went back to work a few weeks ago to see how i could manage but i only lasted 2 days and i was practically on my knees by that time with the pain and tiredness.
I am still off sick and all i’m told is IT WILL TAKE TIME. i never signed up for any of this and i feel my life has been ruined. Oh and as for the sweating,,its worse in places and i have no improvement in any of the original places!
Take my advice,,,Run for your life if this operation is offered to you!
I’ve been suffering from hyperhidrosis for 16 years and have tried everything from botox to drysol to robinol to therapy. I’m desperate for a cure or some sort of help. I’ve missed out on so much in life, I don’t want to miss out anymore.
As a last resort, I’ve opted to undergo an experimental “temporary sympathetic block” where marcaine is injected into the sites where the nerve would be cut in ETS surgery. The procedure is supposed to give you an idea of how bad your CS will be. Has anyone undergone a procedure like this?
For those of you who have had ETS, how long after surgery does CS start? The block only lasts for 5 days and I’m afraid this won’t be enough time to give me a clear idea of what lies ahead long term if I do go through with the ETS.
I have severe facial blushing, axillary, palmar, and plantar sweating, and am tired of missing out on things because of my problem.
Has anyone tried acupuncture or sage or other alternative treatments?
Hopeful for a cure,
Does anyone know of any doctors/clinics who are doing research on stem cell transplant for ETS? I just don’t know how stem cell transplants will come to be used to help ETS patients unless physicians are actively researching this.
Hi, I had my operation 25 years ago, then it was known as a cervical symathectomy.
At that time, I was told I would have a small 2cm incision on my collar bone, where they would make entry to cut the nerve endings, once this was done – I would no longer suffer the embarrassing sweaty hands and arm-pits I had been suffering from (ha, little did I know).
I had no idea that the actual place of obliteration, due to this operation was to be of the ganglia within the spinal area. If I had been told this, I would almost definitely not have proceeded with the operation. Especial knowing what I know now.
The first 3 years were strange, my hands and arm-pits did not sweat anymore, at the time I thought and expressed it as being brilliant but, somehow, I just did not feel right, it’s kinda hard to explain, I just stopped feeling normal, I felt and still feel like I am living in an almost constant state of not being, like I am stuck inside this body, but have no control of it (I hope that others of you that have experienced this operation understand what I am trying to convey?) .
Anyway, after the first 3 years the compensatory sweating really kicked in. I drip sweat from the chest and back areas, following across from the arm-pit line (a definite line), huge droplets of sweat that join up and run like a tap has been switched on, soaking through all layers of clothing (that I wear trying to conceal the problem).
My social life is non void. Most of the time I’m too darn wet to be able to cuddle those that I love, and want to cuddle (fear of the ”urgh” your so wet remark – it’s never happened…but, I feel it might). Basically, I have felt alienated from a more relaxed life ever since this damn operation….my advice to anyone thinking about having it done, go put on a cold wet t-shirt and walk around in that, if you don’t mind that feeling then sure; go and have the op….otherwise try hypnosis, or acupuncture or anything / everything else, but DON’T do anything as drastic as surgery!
All the best
Jorge A. Aguilar says
My name is Jorge A. Aguilar, I started to notice the Hyperhidrosis problem in my childhood, through the years is getting worse and worse, leading to Social Anxiety Disorder as well, which makes the condition worse. Didn’t work for me, but may you…
I have tried several treatments from strong antiperspirants to really painful Botox injections on the palm of my hand and foot.
At this point I’m 36 yo, and due to this is very embarrassing to go to meeting, conference at work to meet new clients and co-workers, etc…
I have make the decision of going to get a Sympathectomy procedure as the last resort, to see if this embarrassing condition (illness) gets out of my life and stop torturing me (socially, Psychologically, & emotionally).
So this is why I will appreciate if you can guide me and give me information about a good hospital where I can get that procedure done in Indianapolis-IN, where i live.
I will appreciate all your help and attention to this matter.
Jorge A. Aguilar
Warrick Dodge says
I am a 44 yr old male, living in South Africa.
I had bilateral ETS done about two months ago. It only worked on the right side of my face. My left side now sweats worse than it did before! The doc went in a second time on the left, and still no success.
I also had that pain from my shoulder to elbow, but I must admit that it has faded away completely. My nipples still feel slightly numb.
The worst is my feet. It feels as though there is a tight elastic band just above my ankles, stopping the flow of blood to my feet. My feet swell up and ache. My toes feel slightly numb and look discolored. Worse on the left side.This is really worrying me. Has anybody had similar problems?
I can’t be sure that it was the Ets that caused it, but i do not remember having this problem before.
My compensatory sweating is heavier than before, but not unbearable.
I am going to try Robinul Forte 2mg tablets to try to stop the CS and am seeing the doc this week about my feet. I’ll keep you posted.
I’m with you all. I had mine done in Italy in June, 2002. I had the clamp method done. By December of that year, after compensatory sweating had been plaguing me for months, I went to do the reversal (clamp removal). Unfortunately, by that time (about 7 months) the clamps had been on too long. And, recovery was minimal. To this day I consider my CS the biggest single problem in my life. I would give so much to get rid of it.
I think we should all focus on stem cell developments and push the idea as far as possible. With the recent reversal on the stem research ban in the U.S. good things might come. I’ve been learning what I about stem cells and they really look promising. If they could develop a procedure to inject even just adult stem cells into the site of the cut, refreshing it first so as to attract the stem cells to the area needing repair, it seems the nerve could grow back. Let’s bombard our doctors with this line of thinking…
Take care for now guys.
paul aitken says
My name is Paul, I’m 34 and had ets surgery about 12 years ago, this was something that was about to ruin my life. At the time my underarm sweating was so bad i was willing to try everything to stop it, my doctor told me about the surgery but he wasn’t sure about the outcome because it was a new surgery. I had the surgery anyway and when i came around the pain in my chest was one of the worse pains i have ever experienced! I was told i could leave the hospital the day after but i was there for 7 days on oxygen because i could hardly breath!
Once i got home i had underarm and chest pain for about a month. Everything seemed fine for about 4 days then i started sweating again but not just under my arm, i was also sweating on my back, chest, groin and legs, this hit me like a train, i then knew from that point my life as i knew it was over, even though my arms sweated i was a very confident person.
Since the surgery i have had severe loss of energy, depression, confidence and I’ve gained 4 stone in weight. i make excuses not to do so many things which causes problems at home, i’m married with 3 children who i adore but when summer is here i make all kinds of excuses not to go to the park because of my problem.
I was sent to a professor to try to help me, he sent me for a sweat test where they covered me in this talc put me in a hot room, where ever the talc turned red that is where the sweat is coming from, when they finished they checked me only to find the talc had turned red from my shoulders all the way to my feet, the person doing the test said she has never seen anything as bad, once the test was done they said they will arrange an appointment.
I was then chasing them for nearly a year only to be told on one of the phone calls they have no record of me and don’t know who i am, in other words, we have screwed your life up and don’t want to know you, reversal is probably out of the question because i had my glands cut. I hope one day there will be someone who can help me and all the other unfortunate people, i do honestly feel for you all, waiting to see what the stem cell thing can do.
Paul Sheffield, England
There are a lot of people considering surgery and a lot that have had bad experiences either because the doctor did not inform them of what could happen, poor work or lack of research.
You sound like you have done all your research and are prepared for whatever may happen.
Do everyone here a favor, will you? Please keep us informed on your progress and any side effects. It would be greatly appreciated!
I was told this was “a relatively simple procedure” with little side effects (I knew about the compensatory, Horner’s, and possible pneunothorax after surgery) when I went to (2) major hospitals to inquire about the surgery. I did years of research about this surgery and tried MANY non-surgical alternatives.
It’s been a little over a month since I had this surgery and I’m still experiencing chest pain with spasms that feel as though my nipples are going to explode. In addition my arm from the shoulder down to my elbow is extremely sensitive touch. These seem to be a rare complications from what I can tell. I was told it would take a week to recover (I planned for two weeks just in case I needed it). It’s gone well beyond this and I still am in constant pain in my chest area (tingling and sometimes stabbing like needles) even on pain medicine.
I have yet to see what compensatory sweating I may have in store for me. This is actually of little concern for me because I am one of those people who sweat all over in addition to my hands, feet, and underarms sweating profusely. I’m more concerned about the affect of this surgery on the nerves and my mental abilities. It’s still difficult to judge what affects this will have on mental abilities because I’m still on pain medication.
I consider myself a fairly intelligent person; however, I’m feeling quite stupid and afraid right now.
Agree with all comments, it’s horrible and def not worth it. Compens Sweating is the worst esp in Summer, who would have thought I would be looking froward to cold months. They need to figure this CS thing out.
Fred, I am so sorry to hear about the last 10 years of problems. I’m not an expert in this field and simply give those wishing to share their experiences with others a place to do so.
The more people that comment on this process, the more I hear negative results! I am surprised the doctor didn’t stress the problems that could occur with compensatory sweating!
I’m not sure what to say to bring you up and I have no idea what you are going through, but know that a lot of people read this page, hear your story and that you are not alone.
I had the surgery @ 17, I’m 27 now.. This was the most horrible 10 years and I think of ending it every single day of my life!!
The doctors told me nothing about compensatory sweating, they had no right to ruin my whole life!
If you really care….my doctor. (I’m having the clamps removed the 25th) acts like he does but really doesn’t. The things I know for sure is this. He also lied to me at month 5 when I wanted to get the clamps removed saying that he had never done that before and that everything would get better with time. I found out later from his nurse that he has done reversals. Hence why I waited to month 14 instead of month 5 which just made my chance of recuperation worse. He clamped t2, t3, t4. I’ve read since that not all of these are necessary for just hand sweat. Whatever.
These things definitely changed.
1. my feet sweat more than my hands ever did. If you guys we’re being honest you would call it “compensatory hyperhidrosis of everything from the nipples down”.
2. My male part performs about 90% of what it use to. I’ve measured…. it’s .25 shorter now and it doesn’t point up at all anymore and it takes me twice as long to get it up again after I ejaculate once. I’m 29 6 ft. 170 6% body fat and have worked out 3-4 times a week since I was 17. It happened right after the surgery. I know because I was having lots of sex before and after. I could go on…. there are other indicators. I take herbal pills now to perform like I use to… who knows what they will do to me in the long run.
3. My abs have been in pain since the day of the surgery, non stop. They feel like when you work a muscle out hard after not working it out for awhile permanently. Of course the doc says this isn’t possible. I never had ab muscle pain in my life before the day of the surgery.
Things I think changed.
1. I have less energy feel more foggy headed. Depressed more often… I make a lot of money per year and have great friends and family but don’t seem to really care as much about anything. Everything feels harder now.
2. My body temperature seems to fluctuate more.
I wish one of you guys would figure out how to repair us. I have spent hours looking for solutions and will be trying all of them after I get the clamps removed.
Stem cells look interesting.
Think about it. Just search for side effects and look at all the studies, you guys are horrible. I’ve been running my own business for years and I’ll admit I’ve done some pretty Grey area stuff to make money. But screwing with someone’s body for life without giving them all the facts is going to far man. We’ve all got to pay the bills but come on! The only reason you don’t hear this more is because most people are slow in general, believe what doctors tell them, and aren’t very connected with their bodies. Do you know any doctors who’ve done it? Find me a doctor who’s had the surgery and still is glad he did it, behind closed doors that is.
Anyway, like I said. I would pay 500/month for the rest of my life to get back to the way I was. I know a lot of people would do anything for that!
What went wrong in your case? What do you know now that you didn’t know about before you had the surgery?
Don’t get this surgery! look at the forums on the internet and see what the actual patients have to say about it! I would pay 100k to go back to the way I was before surgery! DON”T DO IT!
B Lewiston says
I had ETS surgery in November 2006. I suffered from facial sweating. Since then I have no problems with facial sweating but compensatory sweating is very bad. Is there any follow up surgery that can be done. Clothing is often drenched, very difficult to live with. Any solutions at all.