ETS Surgery Changed My Life

Author: Melissa
Location: Nashville, TN

I can tell you without a doubt that having ETS surgery performed was one of the best things that has happened to me in my life.

Chris and Josh, your story rings so true to my experiences. People who don’t suffer from hyperhidrosis do not understand its effect on our lives. Normal daily activities become incredibly embarrassing.

I began experiencing hyperhidrosis in fifth grade. I began to have trouble taking quizzes and writing papers because my hands would drip all over the papers.

It was so stressful to meet new people for fear of having to shake hands. Weekly chapel was always another dreaded activity. God forbid I sat next to someone who didn’t know about my condition and I had to hold their hands during the Our Father.

During the summer, I had to wear sweaters in 80 degree weather for fear of my pit stains being noticed – No matter what type of deodorants or antiperspirants I wore — didn’t matter — And these were MONSTER pit stains, reaching my waist.

I am not exaggerating.

Even when the weather was cold, I would continuously drip like a faucet, which would cause me to freeze in a cold sweat. I couldn’t wear certain colors, and despite showering constantly I never felt clean.

I distinctly remember the Christmas formal dance my sophomore year of high school. Looking at photos from the dance, I showed my mom how my bright pink dress had revealed dark pit stains all the way down to my waist, which pretty had much ruined the whole night.

I broke down crying and explained to her the severity of my condition.

That year, I decided things have to change. I had tried everything, even wrapping my hands and feet in saran wrap with Drysol – which only left me dry for about an hour in the morning and caused severe pain in my hands and feet.

I decided I would not let this condition keep me from having a normal, happy life. To my amazement, I discovered that there IS a cure!

At the time, ETS surgery was still brand new procedure and was considered experimental, so I was scared of the risks. But I was willing to take those risks at the thought of having to live with hyperhidrosis for the rest of my life.

After doing some research, I found a doctor in Miami who performed ETS. My mother was so supportive and battled the insurance companies to make sure I was able to get the surgery, drove me 6 hours to the hospital in Miami, and basically saved my social life.

I really do believe that having the surgery was one of the best things that happened to me. I do still suffer from minimal compensatory sweating, but I shouldn’t even use the word “suffering” after experiencing hyperhidrosis.

The compensatory sweating only happens when it’s hot outside or I’m exercising. These are perfectly normal, socially acceptable occasions to sweat, and I am happy to have some occasional sweating on my armpits, hands, behind my knees, inside my thighs, and on my lower back and stomach.

As long as I am not sweating profusely, and especially because I am not continuously sweating at any given moment.

To anyone suffering from hyperhidrosis, I would strongly recommend seriously looking into ETS as an option. Obviously check up on the surgeon’s experience and success rates.

For example, seriously consider the pros and cons of clamping vs cutting, and how many nerves will be severed. I believe my surgeon only cut a couple of nerves, compared to most ETS procedures.

But don’t let a couple of horror stories keep you from drastically improving your quality of life.

Reply from Chris:

Wow, Melissa — that was a great story. I am happy that you found relief in having the ETS surgery. I wish you all the best and thanks again for sharing.

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One response to “ETS Surgery Changed My Life”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I had the surgery because I had facial sweating. After 3 years of doing the surgery, the sweating in my face is coming back and the compensatory sweating is worse than ever. Don’t think that compensatory sweating feels like normal sweating. It feels completely different. Your body temperature is all out of control. Even if you feel a little bit of heat, your body starts sweating uncontrolably and it will not stop. When I take a shower I have to give time for my body to cool down. I am depressed and I don’t think there is any remedy for my current conditions. If I could turn back the time and undo the surgery, I would. Don’t do it. It just makes things worse and you will hate your body afterwards.

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