top of page

Thoracic Sympathetectomy or ETS

Sympathectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed in hospital under general anesthesia for hand or palmer hyperhidrosis. It destroys the nerves, either by cutting or clipping, in the sympathetic nervous system. The procedure does leave permanent, though minimal scarring. It can also be performed endoscopically, with no scarring. Patients will to spend at least several days in hospital and be able to resume their normal activities after one week.



The risks and possible complications can be serious. Some of the most common side effects of the sympathectomy surgery include fainting due to decreased blood pressure, air in the chest cavity (pneumothorax), chest or rib pain, and compensatory hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating in other areas, like the chest, back or the feet. There is also the risk of producing a Horner's Syndrome, which can affect the appearance of the face and eyes. A thoracic or vascular surgeon typically performs it.

The average cost of ETS can be very high so check carefully first before considering this treatment option.



With ETS surgery, it's best to consider that most patients will have to live with some form of compensatory sweating (more then 70%). This is a common side effect and there are many clinical studies, which have shown that at least 25% of patients regret having ETS surgery.

Hand Sweating
bottom of page