Compensatory Sweating after ETS

Compensatory Sweating After ETS

Donna is a 34-year-old woman who started off sweating on her hands and feet after she had the ETS surgery. It started soon after the surgery, while she was still in the hospital bed, she noticed a sweaty butt, back, and legs. The doctor who checked informed her that it was temporary compensatory sweating after ETS and would go away. But her sweating problem has not ceased.

Compensatory sweating also known as Compensatory Hyperhidrosis refers to a medical condition which is mostly found in patients with Thoracic Disease, Nerve Trauma, Myelopathy, Cerebrovascular Disease. Compensatory hyperhidrosis mostly occurs after ETS and is a type of Neuropathy.

The medical fraternity is yet to clearly understand the exact mechanism of compensatory sweating phenomenon. However, it has been understood that compensatory sweating gets triggered in the Hypothalamus in the Brain due to a perception that the temperature in the body is very high. The Hypothalamus is sending signals to the sweat glands to secrete more sweat for cooling down the body.

Dr. Dave Show is this video has explained what is compensatory sweating.


Sweating, under normal circumstances, is induced to cool down the body. Sweating is a common and natural phenomenon that occurs after an exertion or any intense physical activity. It could be brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, basketball, football or any such activity which burns your calories. Hot environment, hot food or stress can also make you sweat. All this is perfectly natural because sweating is a normal response triggered by the in-built thermostat system in our bodies that has been specially designed to cool itself after any exertion or exposure to hot environment.


Can we stop compensatory sweating after ETS?

Patients who have undergone ETS (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy) are most likely to develop post-operative Compensatory sweating that primarily occurs on the face, chest, back, abdomen, legs, and/or buttocks.

However, the biggest drawback with ETS is the side effect on some individuals. It damages the in-built thermostat system or the temperature regulatory system in the body. This permanent disruption and destruction of the natural thermo-regulatory function of the body’s Sympathetic Nervous System causes Compensatory sweating.

Although ETS is effective in eliminating or reducing the sweat in a specific and targeted body part, almost all patients invariably experience and encounter some degree of compensatory sweating in different parts of their bodies. So its difficult to claim a stop to compensatory sweating after ETS.


ETS can create complexities

ETS is specifically and prolifically used to treat severe cases of Focal Hyperhidrosis where only one part of your body like armpit or palmar is affected. Following surgery, the other untreated parts of your body particularly your lower back and trunk may start sweating profusely for no apparent reason. This can slowly and gradually spread to the entire body surface below the level of the surgical area.

This can become very complex and more annoying than the regular, original symptoms of Hyperhidrosis. In such complex cases, one part of the body is sweating excessively and the other part is ‘Anhidrotic’ where the body is unable to cool down or sweat. This stark contrast in body temperature mechanism can be identified on the thermal images of patients. When the body’s in-built Thermo-regulation system is compromised, it results into elevated core temperature causing overheating and ‘Hyperthermia’.

Another peculiarity of ETS is that it is not possible to predict who will react well and who will react adversely to the surgical procedure. There is no mechanism available as of now which can provide information as to who will develop a severe reaction and if any treatments can stop compensatory sweating after ETS. It is also impossible to link to a certain age, weight or gender. Doctors need data to figure out who is more susceptible and unfortunately, the medical science is yet to formulate screening processes or tests which will provide that data.


Are there any alternative treatments to ETS?

Yes. There are many alternative treatment options available which you can explore before deciding to go for ETS. You should go for ETS as an absolute last resort after you have researched and tried the following:

  • Home remedies and over-the-counter antiperspirants.
  • Aluminium Chloride based antiperspirants have proved to be beneficial to many people.
  • You can try some natural antiperspirants available in the market.
  • You can also try Aluminium Chloride Hexahydrate based antiperspirants.
  • Depending upon your condition and as a first level of systematic excessive sweat treatment, the doctor may suggest the application of commonly used topical agents like aluminium chloride solution, glutaraldehyde, anticholinergic drugs, tannic acid solutions and boric acid to the affected area.
  • Second level of treatment may require you to orally consume systemic drugs like anticholinergic drugs, tranquilizers or sedatives. In some cases, calcium channel blockers may be recommended.
  • Many doctors today are also using Botox by injecting into the affected area to treat Hyperhidrosis when all the other topical applications have failed. Botox injections are durable and generally last for many months.
  • If you have been diagnosed as a Plantar and Palmar Hyperhidrosis patient, then the doctor may treat you, multiple times daily for about 30 minutes with ‘Iontophoresis’ which refers to the application of electric current across your skin.
  • New technologies like Ultrasound and MiraDry are also available and effective.
  • Surgery is always the last resort when all other forms of treatment have been tried, tested and failed. Laser surgeries are available in the treatment of Hyperhidrosis of the armpits.
  • You can try Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Herbal Remedies and Yoga. These holistic sciences have been curing and healing patients for a long time.




Read more about Hyperhidrosis or click here if you want to learn more about Hyperhidrosis Natural Treatment.




Compensatory Sweating After ETS
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Compensatory Sweating After ETS
Everything you wanted to know about Compensatory Sweating after ETS. Read here and get all the tips and alternative treatment options on hyperhidrosis.

Live Sweat Free is a blog for people suffering from hyperhydrosis. Through this blog, we talk on understanding hyperhydrosis, controlling excessive sweating and solutions available.

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