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Is ETS The Answer To Problem Blushing?

Dec 28, 2007
For many people, blushing is more than just a normal physiological response to feeling embarrassed. Those who suffer from problem blushing experience excessive blushing that can be debilitating. They don't just experience occasional blushing. For them, blushing episodes can be sudden and severe and gets in the way of living a productive life.

Some doctors approach treating the problem of excessive blushing as a psychological one, and others approach the problem from a different angle. Some medical professionals classify extreme blushing as a disease condition affecting the autonomic nervous system. It is possible that excessive blushing has a genetic basis, as the condition does sometimes run in families.

What is ETS?

Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) is a minimally invasive surgical treatment that is sometimes used to curb extreme blushing. This is an extreme measure, yet the constant stress of living with this problem causes some people to seek this procedure. ETS can be an effective way of reducing blushing, but as with any surgical procedure, it is not without risk and there are possible side effects.

ETS is typically performed by vascular surgeons. The procedure involves destroying parts of the sympathetic nerve chain that lies within the chest cavity, or completely destroying the Kuntz nerve which is a small nerve fiber located on one of the ribs. The procedure takes about 40 minutes. ETS Surgery reportedly has up to a 90 percent success rate, although data in support of the success rate were not collected via controlled studies.

Possible Complications

During the ETS procedure, it is necessary to collapse the patients lung. Complications related to this part of the procedure can occur. Another side effect specific to ETS is a condition called Horner's Syndrome. This occurs if the stellate ganglion, which is part of the sympathetic nerve chain, is damaged. Damage to this particular part of the nervous system can cause one of the person's eyes to droop.

As with all surgical procedures, other potential side effects include anesthesia related complications and excessive blood loss. Death is always a possibility with any surgical procedure. There are a minimum of nine known deaths associated with this surgery, all believed to be related to doctors or medical facilities lacking experience with the procedure.

Possible Side Effects

It's important to realize that ETS does actually involve destroying part of your nervous system. It isn't realistic to think you can damage your nervous system and not have negative side effects. Side effects related to this procedure vary widely among individuals.

The most frequently reported side effect has to do with sweating. People who have ETS often experience fainting spells, changes in circulation, feeling prickly sensations along their scalps, and dry hands.

Is Surgery the Answer?

ETS is an extreme treatment for the problem of excessive blushing, and is considered to be permanent. Physicians who are not in favor of this procedure for patients with extreme blushing feel that it is more appropriate to treat this condition as a phobia of a social nature rather than destroying parts of the nervous system.
About the Author
Blushing can ruin lives when it gets out of hand. Most people don't know why it occurs or how to stop it. Knowledge and understanding is the only thing that makes you free of this problem. For more information on blushing visit: http://www.blushingfree.com/
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