Beat the Blush with Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy Surgery

Uncontrollable blushing coupled with sweaty hands is a common problem for many people. Fortunately, there are various treatments for these symptoms. One of them is endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery. This treatment is designed to help treat the cause of these conditions, leading to less facial flushing and reduced sweating.

Excessive hand sweating and facial blushing are both caused by overactivity of the sympathetic nerves. The sympathetic trunk is a long chain of nerve ganglia that runs along the spine. It is responsible for several important aspects of the peripheral nervous system. Problems with the sympathetic nerves can cause symptoms like blushing, sweating, and other uncomfortable physical issues.

What Is Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy Surgery (ETS)?

Whether you are suffering from sweaty hands, blushing, or excessive facial flushing, Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy Surgery can help. This surgery involves the removal of part of the autonomic nervous system to alleviate excessive sweating. The autonomic nervous system regulates many body functions, including excessive sweating. This system is distributed throughout the body, with the main chain in the chest. A chain of nerve ganglia runs along the spine from the first to the fifth thoracic vertebrae.

The sympathetic trunks are long chains of nerve ganglia. They are located along the vertebral column, both along the upper and lower thoracic regions. They are responsible for several important functions in the peripheral nervous system.

These nerves control many organ systems, including the heart and muscles. They are also responsible for controlling the body’s physiological responses. A person’s sympathetic trunks can be damaged by a variety of causes, such as diabetes, spinal cord injury, and alcoholism.

During the surgery, a small incision is made. The endoscope is inserted through this cut. The surgeon then looks through the monitor and sees which areas of the body are being affected by the sweating. Then, the surgeon clips or destroys the nerves. In other words, the sympathetic trunks are ablated to stop excessive sweating. It is a minimally invasive procedure.

There are two basic types of sympathectomy: the thoracic and the lumbar. The thoracic type involves removing the sympathetic chain from the first to the fifth thoracic vertebrae. This operation is the standard for treating hyperhidrosis. The lumbar method, which is used to treat plantar hyperhidrosis, is performed at the opposite end of the sympathetic chain. This is considered to be a less invasive treatment.

Possible Complications of ETS Surgery

Despite the benefits of ETS for excessive sweating and facial blushing, many complications have been reported. The most common side effect is rebound hyperhidrosis or an increase in sweating in areas that were not affected by the surgery. Usually, this is not a troublesome complication, but it can be a deciding factor in whether or not patients should undergo the procedure.

Another common complication is sharp chest pain that may feel like a pulled muscle between the shoulder blades. This is caused by inflammation of the pleura. Anti-inflammatories are generally prescribed to relieve this pain.

Infections and pneumothorax are other common perioperative complications. These are typically minor in nature, and most patients do not require follow-up exams after ETS. However, in a few cases, infection or pneumothorax can become a more serious problem.

Compensatory sweating is also a common complication. Although the severity of the problem varies, it occurs in about 35% of patients. It can affect the entire body and is often referred to as “split-body syndrome.” In some cases, the condition is so severe that it can result in extreme hypotension and arrhythmia.

How Can We Help?

ETS surgery is highly successful in treating blushing and sweaty hands. The success rate for patients suffering from sweaty hands is close to 100%, while 90% stop blushing completely after the surgery. For those suffering from neck and upper chest blushing, we suggest MiraDry treatment as the more effective option.

Mr. Roger Bell is a specialist in ETS surgery. Your procedure will be performed in a private hospital, with just one night’s stay required.

To learn more about ETS surgery, please have a look here.

To schedule a consultation, call 03 9372 9999, or use our online contact form.  

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