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Summary:

  • LapSurgery Australia started performing this procedure in 2000 and to date have performed approximately 1000 cases with success rate of 80%.
  • Until recently no cure was available for excessive sweating and blushing.
  • Price: up to $500 with adequate Private Health Insurance (self-pay options are available)

Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS)

Excessive sweating and blushing are conditions which can have a devastating effect on quality of life. Until recently no cure was available. Surgeons have now discovered a new surgical procedure that can cure these conditions in the majority of people with minimal pain and quick recovery. LapSurgery Australia started performing this procedure in 2000 and to date have performed approximately 1000 cases with success rate of 80%.

The surgery, Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS), is providing people who suffer with excessive sweating and blushing not only with new hope, but in many cases with a new life.

The information below gives details of Excessive Sweating and Facial Blushing and outlines the surgical procedure and how it can change your life. As with all surgery there can be failures, complications and side-effects which are discussed below.

  • Facial Blushing (Idiopathic Cranio-facial Erythema)

    Facial blushing is a common condition affecting large numbers of people. Facial blushing is due to the overactivity of involuntary nerves. The nerves control the diameter of the blood vessels and when the nerves are over-stimulated the vessels open out and colour the skin red. Excessive blushing can occur under many circumstances including stress or embarrassment, but in many people it occurs in response to the most trivial event. Facial blushing is often accompanied by other symptoms including palpitations, feelings of excessive heat and anxiety.

  • Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis) of the Face, Scalp and Hands

    Normal people sweat as a way of maintaining skin hydration and controlling body temperature. We have approximately 5 million sweat glands, many concentrated in the skin of the face, scalp and hands. Although it is not entirely understood why, some people sweat excessively due to overactive functioning of the involuntary (sympathetic) nervous system. The common places people sweat excessively are on their hands, face, scalp and armpits. ETS surgeyr is highly effective at controlling excessive sweating of the hands, scalp and face.

  • Excessive Sweating of Armpits (Axillary Hyperhidrosis)

    We now have a new operation for axillary hyperhidrosis.

    The new technique involves selectively isolating a small part of the sympathetic nervous system between the fourth and fifth ribs. This is done by clamping the nerve with small titanium clips which stay in place permanently. (These clips are routinely inserted in the body in numerous different operations and have no known side-effects.) This technique has a high success rate in eliminating or greatly reducing axillary hyperhidrosis with a low incidence of severe compensatory sweating. In addition, there is some evidence that, in those very few people in whom compensatory sweating is considered worse than the original condition, that removing the clips may reverse the operation. It must be emphasised that the possibility of reversal is theoretical and by no means guaranteed.

    Other treatments are available for axillary hyperhidrosis and we recommend that some or all of these are discussed with your family doctor or dermatologist before considering sympathectomy. Other treatments include:

    • Strong anti-perspirants such as Driclor. Although effective, many people find skin irritation unacceptable.
    • Botox. Usually effective, but must be used repeatedly as its effect may last as little as two months. Expensive. The treatment is available through LapSurgery Australia or some dermatologists.
    • Lipodermosuction. This is performed by a dermatologist, usually as a day case under local anaesthetic and with little in the way of scarring. There is a significant failure rate with this treatment.
    • Surgical removal of the sweat gland bearing skin of the armpits. This is usually performed by a general or plastic surgeon and may be very effective. The disadvantages are very ugly scars in the armpits which usually preclude its use in women. LapSurgery Australia does not provide this service.
  • Smelly Armpits (Bromihidrosis)

    This distressing condition is not due to sympathetic nerve overactivity but is due to infection or problems with other types of glands in the armpit. ETS is usually not effective for this condition. We suggest treatment by a dermatologist.

  • Excessive Sweating on other areas of the body

    ETS cannot help sweating on other areas. People suffering from this condition should have a thorough check up from their family doctor to exclude metabolic causes such as an overactive thyroid gland. Severe obesity is also a cause of excessive sweating. If this applies, you may be interested in reading the information on weight loss surgery elsewhere on this web site.

  • Costs
    Cost of Surgery

    Lapsurgery Australia operations are performed only in Private Hospitals and therefore usually have an out of pocket cost. For more information about costs please call our rooms on (03) 9760 2777 or email us at: info@lapsurg.net.au

The team at LapSurgery Australia are recognised for their exceptional and major contribution to the Government sponsored Bariatric Safety Registry (BSR). The BSR tracks surgical complications and provides an unbiased safety record for weight loss surgery.