Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) for Sweating

This is a surgical procedure that cuts the nerves that control the sweat glands, preventing them from excessively sweating.  This is generally used for palm sweating or facial sweating, and has very good results.  Over the years the treatment has changed slightly, and now it utilises keyhole surgery, allowing for smaller incisions and less intrusion into the body.  There are various ways for surgeons to treat the nerve and whether they cut, burn or clamp the nerve, the sweating is stopped by changes made to the sympathetic nerve system. 

Your Consultation

You ought to only consider ETS if you have already tried other, non-surgical, solutions for hyperhidrosis.  There are many products that can produce very good effects without your having to undergo an operation.  Antiperspirants, Botulinum toxin and Iontophoresis can all help you with your sweating problem and might prove highly effective.  If these haven’t worked for you then you might want to start looking into ETS as a possible solution.

It is important that you discuss this option with your GP first, as they might be able to suggest other treatments that might be more appropriate for your condition that you might not have previously thought of or come across.  If they agree that ETS could prove beneficial to you then they will be able to put you in touch with the relevant surgeons and specialists that you will need to consult before having the operation.  ETS is available on the NHS for those patients who truly have a severe sweating problem and have tried other options.

When having your consultation it is a good idea to ask:

  • About any concerns about the operation that you might have
  • How best to prepare for the surgery
  • About the recovery time and how you can aid this
  • To see your surgeons certificates and ask them about any additional training or experience that they might have
  • To see where you will be having the surgery
  • About the risks involved with ETS

Likewise your surgeon will also wish to ask you questions, mainly to ensure that you know the risks involved with the surgery and that you are healthy enough to have the surgery.  If you have any health problems you must let your surgeon know, this might compromise the safety of the surgery and put you at risk.

« Surgery for Excessive Sweating or Hyperhidrosis Candidates »