ETS Surgery: A Bad Choice For Me

I am very unhappy with how my ETS surgery turned out. Do yourself a favor and stay away from that! Sure, maybe ETS surgery can help someone to stop sweating, but I was not one of those people.

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I read the reviews online, I knew the risks, but I was still desperate enough (a hopeful fool, if you'd like) to do it. Ever the optimist, I set up an appointment with a surgeon – who I would rather not name, because he was very fair, informative and professional – and after a lengthy conversation and necessary examinations, we scheduled an operation.

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Friends these days keep telling me “I told you so” when talking about the ETS surgery. They think I was foolish to push for the surgery, but it is easy for them to say. I have been living with debilitating palm sweating for the most of my life. Debilitating. My hands were constantly wet. It felt inhuman, and my condition was so bad that I was starting to suffer from noticeable psychological issues. Depression, frustration, shame. A few rounds of psychological counseling helped me get out of that pit, but after that, I was adamant to get a surgery. (At that point, I'd already had one Botox treatment on my hands, but this numbed my senses and the effects lasted only for a couple of weeks. All weaker forms of hyperhidrosis treatments also fell short.)

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So, ETS surgery it was. To avoid risks connected with operating on the T2 ganglion, on me the lower T3 ganglion was cut. This removed the risk of disrupting my upper body's cooling system, but meant that my hand sweating could reactivate itself at some point.

After recovering from the surgery, I noticed that my hands sweat a little bit less, but it was by no means what I was hoping for. It was still annoying and made my life only slightly better. Even worse: I got compensatory sweating on my feet – a very strong one at that. So now, my hands still sweat too much, and my feet are even worse off than my hands ever were!

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Overall, I feel like I spent a lot of money, only to make my hyperhidrosis even worse than it was before. There is an option to go for another ETS surgery – one that would destroy my T2 ganglion, but I will not do it. I am instead trying to cope by visiting my psychologist and learning how to accept this condition, and I am saving for another Botox treatment – for my hands and feet. Ouch!

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  • Teena

    It’s so sad to read about this – best of luck with the upcoming Botox treatments. I wish they’d make ETS surgery illegal or something. It’s very tempting to know it exists – I thought of doing it for my sweaty hands – I thought about it a lot, but I managed to talk myself out of it. Now, reading stories like these, I see that I really dodged a bullet there. They should really somehow regulate there surgeries, or make them less available or something.

  • TimFleiss

    I hope others will learn from cases like yours, and keep out of ETS surgery! With options like iontophoresis and numerous other treatments, I really think the surgery is an unnecessary (and – no offense – sometimes even foolish) risk. I’m sorry things went so bad for you. Did your Botox treatment fix the situation by some chance?

  • James W

    Totally agree! DONT GET ETS SURGERY! I was looking for solutions for my sweating and a doctor sold this to me and made it sound like a miracle operation… I had the surgery back in 2004 and have regretted it ever since! There was nowhere near the amount of information available back then as there is now so I really hope people start steering clear of this procedure. Don’t get me wrong my sweating was quite bad before and I was desperate for help but it is easily twice as bad now, a lot more uncomfortable and in a lot more areas. For anyone that hasn’t tried botox I really recommend it.