ETS surgery or endoscopic thoracic surgery is a surgical procedure performed in patients suffering from hyperhydrosis or facial blushing. It may also help people who have Reynaud's disease and reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
In human body, there are two sympathetic nerve trunks which control perspiration. Both of these two trunks have three parts, the cervical, the thoracic and the lumbar part. In ETS some portions of sympathetic nerve trunks are destroyed which results in alleviation of symptoms. The surgeons most commonly damage the area of the upper thoracic region. ETS surgery is a laparoscopic surgery and it lasts approximately an hour.
Hyperhidrosis or increased perspiration may cause serious problems. The problems are more aesthetic than medical. People may feel embarrassed because they sweat too much and this can interfere in their social lives and even affect their performance at work. These are only some of the reasons why people opt for ETS surgery.
ETS surgery can be also performed in people suffering from facial blushing. Each time these people are anxious or nervous their face changes to red color and there is evident increase in facial perspiration. Similar to hyperhydrosis facial blushing is rather embarrassing condition. In people who have to face facial blushing during EST surgery sympathetic nerves are not destroyed they are only clipped.
Side Effects of ETS Surgery
There are certain side effects off this surgical procedure. Some of ETS surgery side effects are mild and even severe and long-lasting side effects have been reported.
One of the potential complications is severe bleeding. It results from the damage of the blood vessels around the chest which are accidentally injured.
It may sound ridiculous but one more side effect is compensatory sweating. Excessive sweating may be a reaction to the damage of the nerves in charge with perspiration. While some of the body parts no longer sweat others feature with increased perspiration.
Since ETS surgery includes damage or clipping of the nerves it may occur that nearby nerves are accidentally damaged which eventually results in numbness of specific area. This is a typical side effect of ETS surgery.
Gustatory sweating is excessive perspiration of the forehead which occurs while one is eating. This particularly occurs if one consumes spicy food. Gustatory sweating may be also caused by the smell of certain foods.
It may also happen that former symptoms reoccur within a year after the surgery. This requires additional surgery.
And finally, another complication of ETS surgery is Horner's syndrome.
Rare complications of ETS surgery include permanent headache and fatigue, cold feet and hands, reduction in blood circulation, lung collapse, reduced heart rate and intolerance to heat.