June 30th, 2010Site News
This is a highly recommended read for anyone even remotely interested in ETS and how it can affect people.
ETS: (Endoscopic Transthoracic Sympathectomy)
Means cutting sympathetic nerve or removing a sympathetic ganglion.
ETS-C and ETS-B:
The full name of ETS-C or ESB is Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathetic Block by clamping. It means interrupting sympathetic nervous conduction by clamping with a titanium clip and then therapeutic purpose is achieved. No cut of nervous trunk is performed on clamping method, for this sake, it possesses reversible potential by removal of the clip. Those methods does not provide for guaranteed complete reversal, but the methods gives a much greater opportunity for reversal.
Means block 4th segment of Thoracic Sympathetic Ganglion to treat hand and armpit sweating problems. The specialty of ESB4 is which can treat hand or armpit sweating, effectively without inducing reflex sweating.
The Lin-Telaranta classification of symptoms:
In HH, (Hyper Hydrosis) or hand sweating, only the T4 level is treated
In FS, or facial sweating, as in CH or craniofacial hyperhidrosis, only the T3 level needs to be treated
In FB, or facial blushing, T2 level needs to be treated
In SP, or social phobia, depending on the more specific examination, left sided T2 to T4 treatment may be sufficient, in some cases the surgery has to be bilateral.
Read more below about blushing and sweating.
The Sympathetic Nervous System. Picture
The sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system are parts
of what is commonly called the autonomic nervous system.
(Autonomic = can not be controlled by the mind).
You can say that these systems work in balance with each other and directly or indirectly affect almost every structure in the body (e.g. heart frequency, heart capacity, lumbar function, kidneys, blood vessels, stomach and intestines)
• The sympathetic nervous system has an active “pushing” function.
• The parasympathetic has mainly a relaxing function.
The sympathetic nervous system is located to the sympathetic chain, which connects to skin, blood vessels and organs in the body cavity. The sympathetic chain is located on both sides of the spine and consists of ganglia’s.
The autonomic nervous system is most important in two situations: emergency situations that cause stress and require us to “fight” or take “flight”, and no emergency situations that allow us to “rest” and “digest”.
The autonomic nervous system also acts in “normal” situations to maintain normal internal functions and works with the somatic nervous system. (The somatic nervous system controls all voluntary systems within the body.)
When the body reacts to signals about e.g. danger it is the sympathetic ganglia that makes The lungs and the bronchial tubes are widened to give us more oxygen. The motility in the intestine is reduced – we shall not digest food – we must fight or run away!
Blood is sent to the brain while skin and internal organs get less. Muscle tension is increased. Heart rate and force is increased. Below you can find a summary of some of these effects:
Parasympathetic Rate increased
Rate decreased, Force increased
Bronchial muscle relaxed
Bronchial muscle contracted
Eye Pupil constriction
Bladder Sphincter relaxed
Decreased urine secretion
Increased urine secretion
The Risks and the Side effects of ETS:
Below is a list of possible symptoms which you may or may not encounter. Each person reacts differently, so please do not believe that you will develop all the symptoms below.
The side effects you may get depends a lot on which T you disconnected and with what method that was done, the more aggression the surgeon used on the nerve and the tissue the more
side effects. It is unclear how much the side effects differs between
the commonly used ETS methods listed above.
Because the sympathetic nervous system controls some very specific functions that tie in directly to brain function, fiddling with it can severely deplete one’s ability to concentrate and general sense of mental stability and alertness. A lot of ETS:ers describe it as a feeling of fuzziness.
There are 2 problems here: Firstly, the small number of people who have died on the operating table. Whilst there is a risk in any surgery, ultimately this is an unnecessary surgery. There is an argument as to whether ETS should be done unilaterally (one side at a time), thus avoiding the risk of collapsing both lungs in the same operation. The tragic death of an Irishman on the operation table last year received a coroner’s verdict of death by medical misadventure, and High Court action has been commenced.
Secondly, death has followed ETS through consequent suicide due to side effects. Horribly, a young man in USA committed suicide in March 2003. Also around the world people have made multiple suicides and attempts, directly because of ETS side effects.
This loss of energy has been considerable enough to disable patients. Some degree of fatigue is not uncommon
Many patients find that after ETS they develop a flushing problem. There seems a lot of confusion as to why this happens, so all we can do is repeat some of the ideas which attempt to explain this. A distinction is drawn here between blushing, and flushing. Sympathectomy surgeon Telaranta describes blushing as a sympathetic mechanism, whilst flushing is a parasympathetic mechanism. One might wonder then whether removing sympathetic tone allows the parasympathetic system to take over, thus causing flushing.
Another idea is that the sympathetic system is responsible for constricting the blood vessels, whilst the parasympathetic system allows for the opposite. Thus, removal of sympathetic tone allows too much parasympathetic stimuli, engendering vasodilatation, which manifests as redness on the face. This ties in with the reason for using ETS to treat Raynauds of the hands ~ to remove sympathetic tone, thus the blood vessels dilate, so that they get warmer. Telaranta is quoted as saying that dilation of blood vessels in the peripheries due to sympathectomy is a tool for treating Raynauds, but the same action does not happen in the face because the sympathetic system works differently there.
A much simpler idea is that, where before ETS, flushing due to heat, hormones and emotion could be avoided through the natural cooling mechanism of perspiration from the head, the inability to release this heat causes flushing.
ETS surgeon Reisfeld suggests the problem is due to denervation hypersensitivity. Here, the blood vessels become very sensitive to certain circulating hormones within the blood system
One of the few possible side effects which the Surgeons all acknowledge, though there is huge disparity in quoted incidence. One recent study (Video assistance reduces complication rate of thoracoscopic sympathicotomy for hyperhidrosis. (Johannes Zacherl, MDa, Martin Imhof, MDa, Erik R. Huber, MDa, Eugen G. Plas, MDa, Friedrich Herbst, MDa, Raimund Jakesz, MDa, Reinhold Függer, MDa) studied 558 patients and found 50.4% with Gustatory Sweating. Research Frey’s Syndrome.
Bradycardia is a recognized potential side effect of sympathectomy. Two American patients of surgeons who also operate in Britain advised that PET scans showed damage to the sympathetic nerves innervating the heart. One was told that he was somewhere between normal and pure autonomic failure. While it is not uncommon to complain of reduced exercise capacity, very few have complained of significant heart problems.
This can be brought about by both ETS and nerve graft “reversal”. The low incidence of Horner’s through sympathectomy possibly explains why it is always included as a possible side effect by promoters of sympathectomy. The occasional unfortunate ancillary advice that this is a condition that can be remedied by a simple operation is perhaps a little misleading.
The idea that post ETS hyperhidrosis is solely due to compensatory sweating is a nonsense. The total body perspiration experienced after ETS is greater than the total body perspiration before ETS. This extra amount has been described as “reflex sweating”. No one fully understands it, but theories advanced attribute it to bad feedback from the build up of scar around nerves, or the break in communication between the brain and the lower body sweat glands. Even using the Surgeons’ vocabulary, the nonsense statistics of reported compensatory sweating are now being replaced by more realistic figures, such as Gossot et al’s 2001 publication about 940 patients, which advised an incidence of 100%. A 2003 publication by Gossot et al advised that compensatory hyperhidrosis did not improve with time.
Long recognized to be a side effect of lumbar Sympathectomy (same nerve chain, though cut lower down the trunk), there has been a surprising reticence to acknowledge impotence due to thoracic Sympathectomy. The Radisson Group contains members with greatly reduced sexual strength which can not be attributed to psychological problems in the wake of ETS. Erec dys is a recognized symptom of autonomic dysfunction. (Indeed autonomic dysfunction also has symptoms of dizziness, bladder atone, dry eyes & mouth, and pupil abnormalities.) Sympathectomy is a massive trauma to the autonomic system. This seems to affect a relatively low percentage f people.
Oversensitivity to stress, sounds and lights, smells and
Many of us now react abnormally to simple stimuli of sounds, light and touch. Whilst ETS is sometimes performed to combat social phobia, many of us now have far reduced tolerance to stress.
Sympathectomy has long been touted as a “cure” for pain syndromes, such as the particularly nasty RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)/CRPS (Common Regional Pain Syndrome). Long term pain which can be easily and directly traceable to ETS does not seem terribly common. There are 2 important points to make here:
1) ETS is not a valid option for pain syndrome.
2) ETS can cause pain syndrome where there was none previously.
A common observation amongst ETS patients. This is interesting in that it is another symptom shared by patients with thyroid problems, which are ultimately disturbances to the endocrine system. Incidence is low, an example of how we are all affected in so many different ways.
This condition afflicts the peripheries, and is a touted reason for ETS. Many experienced warmer hands for some extended period after the operation, only for them to become sub normally cold afterwards.
ETS corrupts peripheral blood flow and causes a condition similar to Raynaud’s.
ETS causes contra lateral vasoconstriction, leading to cold extremities in the areas of sympathetic denervation. Many of us found that our hands were warmer than normal after ETS, before they gradually went the opposite way, and become prone to being frighteningly cold. The interesting question here, is that this does not apply purely to the areas of sympathetic denervation (hands, fingers, ears etc), but can also affect the feet, which maintain sympathetic innervation’s after ETS.
This consequence of ETS is hailed as a positive by ETS surgeons. However, little connection is made between those patients who might benefit from a reduced pulse, and those patients which are admitted for ETS. Moreover, acceptance of the degree to which this is a problem is again disputed by ETS surgeons.
Problems with nose and eyes can occur after ETS, including runny nose. This does not appear to be terribly common, but has been admitted by Gossot et al (Long-term results of Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy for upper limb hyperhidrosis) as appearing in chronic form in 2.4% of their sample of 382 patients. Another study (Video assistance reduces complication rate of thoracoscopic sympathicotomy for hyperhidrosis (Johannes Zacherl, MDa, Martin Imhof, MDa, Erik R. Huber, MDa, Eugen G. Plas, MDa, Friedrich Herbst, MDa, Raimund Jakesz, MDa, Reinhold Függer, MDa) studied 558 patients and found 8.3% with Rhinitis. They refer to vasomotor rhinitis as “another symptom of a stellate ganglion lesion”.
Lack of melanin, means reacting differently to sun. The skin is apparently the biggest organ in the body. Whilst the denervated top area may suffer from anhydrous and early aging due to ETS, the bottom half may be susceptible to sweat induced rashes in cleft areas, such as between the toes, or on the groin. Moreover, those who suffer permanent cold feelings may experience this all over the body, in both denervated and still innervated halves. The constant coldness suffered by some members might best be explained to those who thankfully do not suffer this, by reminding them of the feeling experienced with severe sunburn ~ the shivers, shakes and flushes. Interestingly, a praised side effect of ETS is that it can reduce acne, however, some have experienced very difficult skin conditions such as eczema. Some members also report a reduced ability to tan after ETS. it is pleasing to hear that some patients’ post ETS complaint about dry skin have eased with time.
Unfortunately, it is not only the extremities which are subject to cold sensitivity. For some of us, the whole body is subject to thermoregulatory problems. Whilst the peripheral coldness described in the Raynaud’s Disease section can sometimes be akin to a frozen chicken feeling, this total body thermoregulation is less severe, and can be described more as a general feeling of being cold. Whereas the peripheral problem is largely influenced by external temperatures, this total body thermoregulatory problem can be evident regardless of temperature.
Medical professionals using this site will not be surprised by this result of damage to the sympathetic system. It is well documented in other syndromes. This is not terribly common.
Everyone talks about the dreaded CS (Compensatory sweating ) which almost 100% of the people will have after ETS, even the doctor’s websites can’t avoid mentioning it any more. But over and above the recognized side effects such as CS, fatigue or Horner’s (droopy eye), there are so many other smaller side effects that none of the websites mention, but which can make life much more uncomfortable, if not down right miserable.
Here’s a list of other side effects/discomforts.
Not everyone is going to be affected by every side effect listed here, but enough of people have agreed that many of these things started happening only after having ETS. CS can get progressively worse and other problems can develop over time.
Back Pain / Nerve Pain
Burning Skin Sensation
Can’t get the temp right
Chest Hair with Distinct Line of Different Colors
Cracked, Dry Lips
Chronic Fatigue, Lack of Energy
Dry Itchy Scalp
Extreme Dryness of Hands,
Hands Feel Like They Are Sunburned and Electric
Face often hot
Feeling Hot all the Time
Hair Falling/Thinning Out (even young women)
Hard, Sore & Sensitive Nipples
Inability to Tan
Loss of Adrenalin High
Muscle Weakness (“lactic acid in the arms”)
Nerve Pain – Intercostals neuralgia
Premature Grey Hair
Sensitivity to Cold
Sensitivity to Heat
Sensitivity to Light
Sensitivity to Smells
Severe Compensatory Sweating
Shortness of Breathe
Slowed Reaction Time
Slow Heart Rate
Sores that don’t Heal
Stomach Problems (constipation or diarrhea)
Stuffy/Blocked Nasal Passages
Some of the above symptoms may be the same,
but are described with slightly different words.
Here are my suggestions:
When you read about what a complicated system the sympathetic chain is, you wonder how anyone can allow surgeons to perform ETS.
If you are considering having ETS, I strongly recommend that you first try other remedies. However, I also understand that some people may feel surgery is the only option left. With that in mind, I’ve put together a suggested list of questions you should ask your doctor.
Don’t rush into surgery; take your time and do as much research as possible. If you have doubts, postpone your decision until you are completely sure that surgery is the only option left. Remember, this is surgery–it can not be fully reversed (this includes early removal of clamps). Even the most experienced ETS surgeon cannot guarantee good results.
1.) Consult at least two physicians that are familiar with the procedure but do not perform the procedure or have any financial interest in your decision. Try seeing one dermatologist and one neurologist.
2.) Bring a family member or close friend to the consultation. Having an objective third party present will prevent you from making an emotional decision regarding the surgery.
3.) Do not make your decision based solely on information gathered from surgeons websites, brochures and phone calls to the surgeons office.
4.) Do not schedule a consolation that can be followed by a surgery the same day. Go to a consultation and then spend at least a few weeks considering the risks.
5.) If you go alone to the consultation, bring a tape recorder to record the conversation. Tell the doctor you want to record the conversation. If he objects, then you have learned something about him.
6.) Realize that testimonials from happy post-op patients are anecdotal and do not reveal anything regarding the possibility that you will regret the surgery.
7.) Even though a minority of patients regret the surgery, regret is not at all rare. A five percent regret rate is 1 in 20 patients. A minority for sure, but it’s hardly a rare occurrence. Many studies demonstrate regret rates much higher over the long term.
I found this article on facialblush.com.Tags: endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, essential, ets, problems, risks, side effects
June 29th, 2010Site News
A man who was convinced he was being humiliated on the internet because of his constant blushing gassed himself, an inquest heard today (12 May 2010).
Gifted musician and artist Luke Shears thought the New York Police Department was monitoring his body and home for when he blushed and then posting it on the world wide web so people could laugh at him.
Mr Shears, 43, was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and attempted suicide several times before he was found dead by police at his flat in Winchester, Hampshire, in July last year.
The inquest in Winchester was told that Mr Shears had retreated from the world as he felt the blushing got worse.
He even had a nerve cut to try and stop it and he used fake tanning to hide it. The fixation had started while he was working in New York in 1993.
On the night he died, Mr Shears was due to have dinner with his sister Emma but he failed to turn up and she raised the alarm.
His father Barry told the hearing that his son was a “lovely man” but he did not know why the fixation with his blushing started.
Central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of suicide.
“It’s clear he suffered from a psychosis. It’s also clear from the reports I have read he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia which was a result of a tendency to blush,” he said.
“His life became dominated by his strong desire to avoid situations where he might blush. Furthermore, the total belief he was being watched.
“He believed his psychosis would never improve and he would not be able to lead the life he wanted.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/blushing-man-committed-suicide-1971709.htmlTags: blushing hyperhidrosis suicide death paranoid humiliation
June 26th, 2010Site News
I came across this today and wanted to pay this lady and her family a little tribute.
RIP Louise, our thoughts are with your family x
Newport parents speak about tragic loss of beautiful daughter
Jun 20 2010 by Adam Aspinall, Sunday Mercury
LOUISE Field had the world at her feet.
The pretty 27-year-old was a super-fit sportswoman, had a great career ahead of her and boasted a loving family.
Only a slightly embarrassing medical problem held her back – excessive sweating in her hands.
The problem had become so bad that she had consulted doctors, who had suggested a routine operation to tackle the problem.
But during the procedure medics accidentally punctured a lung and, after suffering from a lack of of oxygen, the trainee accountant was left brain damaged.
With no chance of recovery, doting parents Patricia and Phillip Green took the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life support machine two days later.
Her mum said: ‘‘Turning off her life support machine was the hardest thing we have ever had to go through.
‘‘How horrible that is for a parent just cannot be put into words.’’
Louise, from Shropshire, suffered from palmar hyperhidrosis, a rare condition which leads to constant hand sweating.
After seeking medical advice she opted for a simple operation to rid her of the problem at a private BUPA hospital in Hertfordshire in March 2002.
But medics accidentally punctured her lung and she was left with brain damage. Her heartbroken family gave permission for doctors to switch off the life support machine.Tags: brain damage, death, died, dripping, endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, ets, excessive sweating, hands, hyperhidrosis, louise field, lung, palmar, punctured, surgery, treatment, young
http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/midla … -26685674/
June 17th, 2010Site News
This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read. It’s written by our fabulous VSB member, Davey. Thank you for letting us use it Davey x
A not-so random outpouring of thoughts from a man so relieved to find fellow sufferers.
It’s just sweat destroying the essay I have worked so hard to prepare for. I watch as my hands begin to glisten. I imagine the eyes of my classmates finding their way to my atrocious extremities. To the pooling liquid spilling onto the graffiti covered desk. I blush, become hot, thinking of everything and nothing at once. I am silently screaming. I am hiding the chaos. I am watching my paper – a paper I have studiously prepared for over the previous few weeks, a paper I am proud to read in front of my class, a paper that defines my willingness to be taught and to grow – be destroyed by the very hands that wrote it. The ink begins to blot. Then it bleeds. Then it runs. The table creaks. I moan. But what does it matter?
It’s just sweat.
It’s just sweat destroying a drawing I have worked at for days. A drawing that has impressed even me, my greatest critic. A drawing that has brought praise from all who have seen it. I watch as the pastels begin to clump, the graphite begins to stain, to rust. A tear wells up but is quickly pulled back by a determination colored red with anger. My shaking hands encircle the paper, surrounding it. They clamp down. I look away and sigh. And then I remember.
It’s just sweat.
It’s just sweat keeping my hands from those of the girl I love. Keeping them from touching – from knowing – from loving her face. Her neck. The small of her back. The lines of her palms. The peaks of her knees. I can almost feel the dam I’ve suddenly built as I pull them away. She demands them. I refuse. I want to explain. I want her to know my pain so badly without feeling it. I want her to understand the impact what she is seeing has on me. I want her comfort me. To tell me it’s going to be OK. So I tell her. And she reminds me.
It’s just sweat.
I suffer in a divine comedy, for I am an artist whose hands, so capable of communicating beauty and inspiration, will forever seek to destroy his creations. I am a lover and a friend whose greatest efforts to connect may always be marred by an inescapable awkwardness. I am a man that requires no explanation, yet my life is seemingly full of them. I am not different, and yet I am. I am weaker and stronger because of it. It’s my hands. It’s my feet. It’s my life. It’s me.
It’s just sweat.Tags: sweat destroy relief hot blush
June 9th, 2010Site News
We’re proud of you Bev!!
VSB Member Beverly Stacey has written an article for ezinearticles.com and has been today awarded the prestigious status of ‘expert Author’ – see her profile here: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Beverly_Stacey
Here’s an extract of the article:
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a skin disease which produces a lot of unhappiness. It is estimated by the medical profession that 2-3% of people all around the world suffer from excessive sweating. Non-medically speaking, the figure could easily be far, far higher. In our experience, many people only find out they have Hyperhidrosis because they stumble across the name of it by accident. Many people don’t want to bother their doctor because they think it’s ‘just them’. There are many reasons why people can go through life and never mention it to anybody. For me it was a taboo for almost 40 years and created a lot of self-loathing. I mentioned it to a few family doctors over the years, all of them shrugged their heads, they had no knowledge of excessive sweating.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE:
June 2nd, 2010Site News
One of our fellow HH sufferers has invented an amazing product to help with truncal Hyperhidrosis – excessive sweating in the groin.
Wrapps are super comfortable. They’re made of the softest most absorbent cotton and lined with muslin for extra comfort. You can change into clean dry Wrapps whenever you feel the need. The used Wrapps just go through your normal washing machine programme. How simple is that! I love it!
It attaches to both women’s and men’s underwear and absorbs excess moisture – or even heavy sweating!
During the past countless number of years, I’ve had to live my life in black – black jeans and in the summer, black cotton/linen cropped trousers – as it’s one of the colours that doesn’t show much sweat. Having said that, if I sit on any seat that isn’t made of cloth material (for instance a plastic chair), I always leave my sweaty crotches imprint. I tell you, plastic chairs are the devil’s work.
I’ve tried Denise’s Wrapps and I have to say I’m utterly sold on them. I didn’t know I was wearing them. It’s a bit of a dream come true for me, if I sweat in my groin area, it simply doesn’t show. I’m looking forward to wearing some white or light coloured cropped trousers this summer and might even attempt a dress or skirt. Stranger things have happened. The last time I wore a skirt, I had sweat running down my legs in little rivers, seeping into my shoes for my feet to slide around in. The chafing was so painful and the sheer embarrassment I suffered knowing that someone might spot the rivers was excrutiating.
Another thing I’m looking forward to – fewer yeast infections because my bits are kept nice and dry. My longest bout of thrush was two years. Not on-and-off – it was two long years as in 730 DAYS. Along with my trusty acidophilus capsules, garlic capsules and now the Wrapps, I think my thrush days are completely over. I’ve not had a single tingle in weeks!
Denise ships her Wrapps all over the world and they come in packs of 2, 6 & 12. As they’re made from natural materials, the more you wash them, the softer they become.Tags: absorbent, amazing, coolwrapps, down below, dripping, dry, easy care, excessive sweating, groin, hiperhidrosis, hyperhidrosis, men, parts, private area, product, soft, sweat, sweaty, truncal, trunk, unisex, wet clothes, women, wrapps